Things change very quickly in football.At this stage last season, Enugu Rangers and Rivers United were involved in an enthralling race for the title in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
On Sunday, the two sides meet again but the stakes, high as they are, have no realistic implications on the top half of the NPFL table.
Difficult as it is to believe, Enugu Rangers and Rivers United are in relegation trouble this season!
It makes Sunday’s clash at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium extremely crucial for both sides in dire need of points.
Rangers have their third coach of the season, Sylvanus ‘Quick Silver’ Okpala set to take the reins for his first official assignment and he will be desperate to hit the ground running with a positive result against the ‘Pride of Rivers’ at the ‘Cathedral’.
Rangers still possess some of the best footballers in the land but they have struggled to hit expected heights as a unit this term.
Team manager of the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Amobi Ezeaku is however optimistic that they will put things right with a win over United on Sunday.
“It’s going to be a cracker as the two sides are in dire need of points.
“In the Nigerian league, players play with much confidence at home so expect the Rangers players to play with a lot of confidence on Sunday.
“We appeal to our fans to support us because with that, we will emerge victorious against Rivers United on Sunday,” Ezeaku told our official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
Chief coach of Rivers United FC, Willy Udube also spoke about Sunday’s game.
“We lost a match at home against Sunshine Stars but travelled to Illorin to get a result against ABS FC so it is possible to get another decent result in Enugu against Rangers after dropping points in our last home game versus Akwa United,” he said.
Game: Enugu Rangers versus Rivers United versus
Competition: Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)
Match day: 32
Current positions of respective clubs on the NPFL log: Enugu Rangers (17th); (Rivers United (12th)
Date: Sunday, July 30, 2017
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 3:15 pm on match day.
Form guide (last five NPFL matches)
Enugu Rangers (LWLDL)
Enugu Rangers 1-3 Lobi Stars (A)
Enugu Rangers 1-1 Shooting Stars (A)
Enugu Rangers 0-2 Kano Pillars (A)
Enugu Rangers 2-0 MFM (H)
Enugu Rangers 0-2 ABS (A)
Rivers United (DWLDW)
Rivers United 1-0 MFM FC (H)
Rivers United 0-0 ABS (H)
Rivers United 0-1 Sunshine Stars (H)
Rivers United 3-1 Wikki Tourists (H)
Rivers United 1-1 Akwa United (H)
Previous meetings (head-to-head)
Matches: Three (4)
Rivers United wins: Two (2)
Enugu Rangers wins: Two (2)
Draws; Nil (0)
Goals for: Rivers United (five); Enugu Rangers (seven)
Goals against: Rivers United (seven); Enugu Rangers (five)
Points accumulated (in competitive matches): Rivers United (six); Enugu Rangers (three)
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).