Plateau United and Rivers United will re-enact what’s turning out to be one of the Nigeria Professional Football League’s (NPFL) most compelling rivalries on Wednesday, January 17 as this season’s competition enters match day two.
Both sides are riding the crest of a wave following successes on the opening day of the season.
The champions, Plateau United claimed a stunning 1-0 win over Nasarawa United in Lafia while Rivers United also won by a solitary goal at home to El-Kanemi Warriors.
Plateau United will however start as overwhelming favourites on Wednesday with the Rivers United technical manager, Stanley Eguma admitting that he will be not be unhappy if his charges claim a point from the encounter.
“Plateau United have started well and they also did well last season,” Eguma told our official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
“They have made good recruitments but we are already on track (with Sunday’s victory over El Kanemi Warriors).
“My players are happy and I know they will also want to be happy on the trip back to Port Harcourt from Jos.
“Everyone here is determined to go to Jos to get the points.
“I will not be on the boastful side because I know that the league is just beginning.
“I am assuring the fans that we will not let them down as we will be going there to get the victory but if we (can only) get a draw, then it is also acceptable,” he said.
Team News (Rivers United)
Eguma has an almost full squad to work with on Wednesday,
Attacker, Samuel Akinbinu suffered some discomfort on his right shoulder which club doctor, Chukwuemeka Agi has since described as ‘not too serious’ and it is still not clear if the burly forward will start against the champions on Wednesday.
Prince Aggrey impressed on Sunday against El Kanemi and will be favoured to start his second game in as many matches.
Ochowechi Salefu debuted on Sunday and has been included yet again in the United match day squad.
Eguma must decide if young goalkeeper, Robert Cole gets another run out ahead of Sunday Rotimi who has also made the trip to Jos.
Be afraid, the champions look stronger
Plateau United look stronger this campaign with reinforcements arriving ahead an expedition into Caf’s premier club competition, the Caf Champions League.
Okiemute Odah, on his day, can produce reflexes and saves to rival any goalkeeper in the land and he was outstanding in the win over Nasarawa United in Lafia on Sunday.
Raphael Ayagwa scored the winner in Lafia on Sunday and will be aspiring to impress against the ‘pride of Rivers’ yet again in midweek.
Head coach of the Jos club, Kennedy Boboye is in bullish mood ahead of Wednesday’s clash but readily admits he knows little or nothing about the opposition from Port Harcourt.
“I have not seen Rivers United play this season so I don’t even know what they have but when they come (to Jos) we will push hard to see that we (claim) victory,” Boboye began.
“My biggest target is to (defeat) them (on Wednesday) as we drew twice (in the league) last season in Port Harcourt and Jos.
“I don’t think it will be the same this season and by God’s grace, we will think of beating them in Jos,” he concluded.
The smart money will be on Plateau United claiming maximum points on Wednesday but surprises do prop up in football.
Game: Plateau United versus Rivers United
Competition: Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)
Match day: Two
Current positions of respective clubs on the NPFL log: Plateau United: 5th, Rivers United: 6th
Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2018
Venue: New Jos Stadium, Jos
Time: 4 pm
There will be robust coverage of this game by our media team (that will include videos and photos from the venue) simultaneously via our official Twitter account
(@RiversUnitedFC) and official Whatsaap channel from 3:15pm on match day.
Previous meetings (head-to-head)
Matches: Four (4)
Rivers United wins: One (1)
Plateau United wins: One (1)
Draws; One (1)
Goals for: Rivers United: Four (4); Plateau United: Three (3)
Goals against: Rivers United: Three (3); Plateau United: Four (4)
Points accumulated (in competitive matches): Rivers United: Five (5); Plateau United: Five (5)
Details (Specific breakdown)
Game one: Plateau United 2-1 Rivers United (NPFL. Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos on April 24, 2016).
Game two: Rivers United 2-0 Plateau United (NPFL. Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on August 28, 2016)
Game three: Rivers United 0-0 Plateau United (NPFL. Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on March 29, 2017)
Game four: Plateau United 1-1 Rivers United (Rwang Pam Stadium on August 27, 2017)
Form guide (last five NPFL matches)
Plateau United (LDLWW)
Plateau United 0-2 ABS (Away)
Plateau United 1-1 Rivers United (Home)
Plateau United 0-1 Wikki Tourists (Away)
Plateau United 2-0 Enugu Rangers (Home)
Plateau United 1-0 Nasarawa United (Away)
Rivers United (WDWLW)
Rivers United 2-1 Enyimba (Home)
Rivers United 1-1 Plateau United (Away)
Rivers United 3-0 Gombe United (Home)
Rivers United 1-4 Abia Warriors (Away)
Rivers United 1-0 El Kanemi Warriors (Home)