Rivers United return to domestic competition on Thursday, April 27 when they face Katsina United in a rescheduled match day 13 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clash.
The contest which will be decided at the picturesque 35,000 capacity Mohammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina is one which is expected to be fiercely-fought.
The two sides are in dire need of points and are separated by a solitary place and point on the NPFL standings.
Baldwin Bazuaye is the head coach of the newly-promoted Katsina United side and he is looking forward to a good contest.
“We see Rivers United as our brothers and by the special grace of God, we will try to amass maximum points,” he told our official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
As always, Bazuaye will build his game plan around exciting midfielder, Destiny Achady who is gradually but surely underlining his potential as one of the finest playmakers in the division.
Ado Ali, Eric Gwammy, Chinedu Udechukwu, Kenneth Okoli, Nasiru Sani and Belo Usman are other individuals who have made Katsina United one of the most exciting sides to watch in the NPFL this season.
Katsina United’s stars will however have to strut their stuff in the absence of their vociferous supporters as the game will be played ‘behind closed doors’.
Technical manager of Rivers United, Stanley Eguma will be looking to exploit that and his side is brimming with confidence following their qualification for the group stage of the Caf Confederation Cup.
“At this point in time, our position on the log is not good and we have to give our best to improve on it.
“I have charged the players to give their best because we cannot afford to drop points again.
“This match against Katsina United gives us an opportunity to pick up crucial points.
“We are in Katsina to pick the maximum points and I know it is very possible,” Eguma said.
Rivers United will fancy her chances of claiming a first away victory in all competitions, this season at the Mohammadu Dikko Stadium on Thursday but they will face a Katsina United side that have yet to suffer a reverse at their stately patch.
Game: Katsina United versus Rivers United FC
Competition: Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL match day 13; rescheduled)
Current positions on the log: Katsina United (15th)Rivers United FC (16th)
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Venue: Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina United.
Form guide (last five NPFL matches)
Katsina United (LWLLW)
Katsina United 1-0 Enugu Rangers (H)
Katsina United 0-2 Sunshine Stars (A)
Katsina United 0-1 Remo Stars (A)
Katsina United 2-1 Enyimba (H)
Katsina United 0-3 Plateau United (A)
Rivers United (WWLLL)
Rivers United 1-2 MFM (A)
Rivers United 0-1 Enyimba (A)
Rivers United 0-1 Gombe United (A)
Rivers United 2-0 ABS FC (H)
Rivers United 1-0 Abia Warriors (H)
Previous meetings (head-to-head)
Matches: Nil (0)
Katsina United wins; Nil (0)
Rivers United wins: Nil (0)
Goals for: Nil (0)
Goals against: Nil (0)
Points accumulated (in competitive matches): Nil (0)
Eguma looks forward to CCC draw
Only one Nigerian club, Rivers United FC, is left in 2017 inter CAF club competition this year.
The Pride of Rivers is one of 16 clubs in the hat for the CAF Confederation Cup group stage draw which will be conducted in Cairo, Egypt on Wednesday.
Technical manager of United, Stanley Eguma says he is clam ahead of the draw for the 2017 Caf Confederation Cup group stage.
“This is a very big competition, no Nigerian club has ever won it before and we are looking to make history,” Eguma told our official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
“Of all the clubs that have qualified for this stage, we are the least experienced as we are less than two years old.
“However, we have beaten more experienced sides in the past both in the Caf Champions League and Confederation Cup so we will not be fazed,” he said.
United will definitely draw one of four sides in the shape of TP Mazembe, Zesco United, FUS Rabat and CS Sfaxien who have all been seeded.
The ‘Pride of Rivers’ will also face two of 11 other sides in pot two of the draw.
Eguma says he would have liked to avoid some of the big guns at this stage of the competition but knows facing and tripping storied opposition is a pre-requisite for respect to be earned.
“If we had our way, we would have liked to avoid the big sides like TP Mazembe, Zesco United and FUS Rabat.
“However, we want to win the Caf Confederation Cup title.
“And to be the best, you must beat the best,” he added.
Caf Confederation Cup qualified teams
TP Mazembe (Congo DR)
CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)
Zesco United (South Africa)
FUS Rabat (Morocco)
Recreativo de Libolo (Angola)
MC Alger (Algeria)
CF Mounana (Gabon)
Platinum Stars (South Africa)
SuperSport United (South Africa)
Al-Hilal Al-Ubayyid (Sudan)
Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland)
Club Africain (Tunisia)
Rivers United (Nigeria)
NB: Photo credit: Solitary Katsina United photo courtesy Katsina United official Twitter account.