One of the biggest fixtures of match day six of this season’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) will be decided in Enugu on Thursday when Enugu Rangers and Rivers United go toe to toe at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.
Rangers go into Thursday’s game on the back of a 1-2 defeat to Nasarawa United in Lafia on Monday and will be looking to bounce back by amassing maximum points at the expense of the Port Harcourt club.
The ‘Flying Antelopes’ have won once and also lost once at home this term but they will fancy their chances against a Rivers United side that have yet to register neither points nor goals on the board, on the road this term.
Team Manager of Rangers, Amobi Ezeaku is however full of respect for United and is adamant that the hosts will be taking nothing for granted at the ‘Cathedral’ on Thursday.
“Rangers and Rivers United are two great teams and only 90 minutes will decide (which side comes out tops) on Thursday,” Amobi said when he had a tête-à-tête with our official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
“Rivers United is a team I respect a lot and their determination, even when they are down is next to none.
“I believe they have the (qualities) we saw two seasons ago (when they finished as NPFL runners up, losing the title to Rangers on the final day of the season).
“It is not going to be an easy game in Enugu,” he concluded.
Rangers represent formidable opposition and will look to go for the jugular from the get go on Thursday.
Goalkeeper, Femi Thomas and centre halves Shedrach Francis and Semiu Liadi know United well having spent last season in Port Harcourt on the books of the ‘Pride of Rivers’.
They will give useful tips to Rangers head coach, Gbenga Ogunbote on the inner workings of the Port Harcourt club.
Captain, Okey Odita, who scored on Monday in Lafia, will provide leadership for the ‘Flying Antelopes’ while Camara Azeez, Osamudiamwen Adun, Christian Madu, Odita, Silas Bright, Abu Azeez, Ugonna Anyaora , Kelvin Itoya and Godwin Aguda ‘Wanbe’ complete a strong spine.
Rivers United have failed to hit expected heights so far this term and dropped points at home on Sunday against Enyimba on match day four.
Technical manager of the club, Stanley Eguma knows results on the road will have to improve rapidly.
“We have to start picking up results on the road and the objective is to get a good result against Rangers in Enugu,” he said.
Game: Enugu Rangers versus Rivers United
Competition: Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)
Match day: Six (6)
Current positions of respective clubs on the NPFL log: Enugu Rangers: 16th; Rivers United: 11th
Date: Thursday, February 1, 2018
Venue: Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu
Time: 4 pm
**Live coverage** 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.
Form guide (last five NPFL matches)
Enugu Rangers: LWWLW
Enugu Rangers 0-2 Akwa United (Away)
Enugu Rangers 1-2 Lobi Stars (Home)
Enugu Rangers 1-0 Heartland (Away)
Enugu Rangers 1-0 Katsina United (Home)
Enugu Rangers 2-1 Nasarawa United (Home)
Rivers United: LLWLW
Rivers United 1-0 El Kanemi Warriors (Home)
Rivers United 0-2 Plateau United (Away)
Rivers United 2-1 Kano Pillars (Home)
Rivers United 0-2 Sunshine Stars (Away)
Rivers United 1-1 Enyimba (Home)
Previous meetings (head-to-head)
Matches: Five (5)
Rivers United wins: Two (2)
Enugu Rangers wins: Three (3)
Draws; Nil (0)
Goals for: Rivers United (six); Enugu Rangers (nine)
Goals against: Rivers United (nine); Enugu Rangers (six)
Points accumulated (in competitive matches): Rivers United (six); Enugu Rangers (six)
Details (Specific breakdown)
Game one: Rivers United 3-1 Enugu Rangers (NPFL: Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on May 1, 2016).
Game two: Enugu Rangers 4-0 Rivers United (NPFL: Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu on September 4, 2016).
Game three: Enugu Rangers 2-0 Rivers United (NPFL Super 4: Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu on December 7, 2016)
Game four: Rivers United 1-0 Enugu Rangers (NPFL: Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on March 5, 2017).
Game five: Enugu Rangers 2-1 Rivers United (NPFL: Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu on July 31, 2017).