As the Premier League takes an unwanted extended break for international duty, Shola Ameobi seized the chance to continue his recent run of good form by scoring for Nigeria on Monday night.

The 32-year-old won his fifth cap for the Super Eagles in an international friendly against Italy and netted his second goal, a smart volley from a tight angle.

Ameobi is hoping to be named in Stephen Keshi’s World Cup squad next summer, after finally accepting Nigeria’s advances last year. The African giants have already qualified for Brazil 2014 thanks to a good qualifying campaign and Ameobi could be joined in the squad next summer by former Magpie Obafemi Martins, as well as fellow Premier League players John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses.

Tonight (Tuesday) sees Newcastle’s France quartet attempt to turn a 2-0 deficit to Ukraine around as they host the Eastern Europeans at the Park des Princes. Loic Remy and Mathieu Debuchy started the first leg defeat to Mikhail Fomenko’s side, while Yohan Cabaye was an unused substitute. Moussa Sissoko replaced Remy after half an hour but could do nothing to stop Ukraine scoring twice and giving themselves a commanding lead going into tonight’s second leg.