It is going to be a big showdown at the Aba Township Stadium with Rivers United coming to town for a duel against record Nigeria Professional Football League winner, Enyimba. Enyimba and Rivers United, owned and bankrolled by Abia and Rivers states respectively; two states separated by the Imo River but with a rich history of footballing success at the club level in Nigeria and Africa will go against each other in one of the MatchDay 31 games spread across the country on Sunday.
For the fourth time this season, Enyimba and Rivers United meet on the pitch this Sunday in a game that could have ramifications on both sides’ final placements on the 2020/2021 league log. The top three teams may have some tricky fixtures to negotiate in Sunday’s MatchDay 31 outing but this clash between the 4th and 5th placed sides, will certainly be the cynosure of all eyes.
With all three meetings between both sides this season ending 1-0 in favour of the home teams, fingers point to another low scoring affair but Eguma hopes that his wards will give a good account of themselves. “It’s a big game and you know there’s a kind of rivalry going on between Enyimba and Rivers United. This fixture, any day, any time is a cracker and it’s a game between teams that know each other very well,” Eguma said. “Both teams are close to each other on the log, we are fighting for the same thing so it will be interesting. Apart from that, pride is at stake as well, not only the three points, pride is at stake and we hope that we’re going to give a good account of ourselves in Aba.” Both teams will be without some key actors for this MatchDay 31 encounter. Nigeria’s Super Eagles, made up of predominantly home based players are currently in the United States where they will face Mexico in an international friendly on Sunday, a development which has seen both sides shorn of top stars. Hosts Enyimba will be without their talismanic winger Anayo Iwuala, left back Imo Obot and goalkeeper John Noble who are all with the Super Eagles while centre backs Timothy Danladi and Somiari Alalibo are both out due to injury.
Rivers United will also be without their striker Sunday Adetunji who once played for Enyimba and right back Enyinnaya Kazie whose brother Izundu Njoku is Enyimba’s reserve goalkeeper. Rivers United however have former Enyimba goalkeeper Theophilus Afelokhai back for the trip while Ifeanyi Anaemena is also in the frame for a return after two months of absence.
Meanwhile, Akwa United’s quest for the league title will continue today when the Uyo-based side takes on Plateau United in Jos as second place Nasarawa United take on Jigawa Golden Stars. Katsina United will be playing at home against FC IfeanyiUbah while MFM will be the guest of Adamawa United with Kano Pillars playing host to Lobi Stars.
Other weekend games will see Heartland and Kwara United at home against Sunshine Stars and Rangers respectively while Dakkada and Abia Warriors would be playing away against Wikki Tourists and Warri Wolves.