For the first time in 2017, Rivers United prepare to prosecute a domestic football game with the knowledge that their exertions in inter CAF clubs competition have come to an end.
On Wednesday, July 12, the ‘Pride of Rivers’ will face high-flying MFM FC in a rearranged fixture in Port Harcourt knowing that any result other than an outright win will set the cat amongst the Pigeons in their quest to leave the drop zone in this season’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
United lost the reverse fixture 1-2 at the Agege Stadium, Lagos on March 22 and will be keen to take their pound of flesh off the Lagos club.
Head coach of MFM FC, Fidelis Ilechukwu insists that United are favourites for a win on Wednesday.
“We come to Port Harcourt for a very tough game against a side with continental experience,” he told our official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
“It will be a game to be enjoyed (by the spectators) because the two sides play good football.
“MFM is a young team and we will be coming with the mind set of learning from a side that is obviously more experienced than us,” he said.
MFM is a fluid and wonderfully-effective side that can punish opposition sides in a heartbeat and that is largely responsible for them punching above their weight in the division this season.
The play a direct style with quick passing and effective finishing, a factor hinged on supremely-talented individuals at the tip of their attacking spear – Sikiru Olatubosun and the league’s top marksman, Stephen Odey – ‘the Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi of Nigerian football’ as Ilechukukwu puts it.
Folarin Abayomi, Stanley Okorom, Monsuru Bashiru, Jonathan Zikiye and Austin Opara are the defensive foundations on which the MFM project is built.
Tchato Gischard, Shola Brossa, Austin Ogunye and Onuwa Chukwuka Onuwa are also important personnel who are sure to put in an important shift in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
United will have to produce one big effort to win at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium against opposition that will be looking to amass maximum point to close the gap on the leaders, Plateau United to just two points.
Overview Game: Rivers United versus MFM FC
Competition: Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)
Current positions of respective clubs on the NPFL log: Rivers United (18th); MFM FC (2nd)
Date: Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Venue: Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt
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.
Previous meetings (head-to-head)
Matches: Three (3)
MFM wins: Two (2), Rivers United wins: One (1)
Draws; Nil (0)
Goals for: MFM FC: Five (5); Rivers United; Six (6)
Goals against: MFM FC: Six (6); Rivers United; Five (5)
Points accumulated (in competitive matches): MFM FC: Six (6) Rivers United: Three (3)
Details (Specific breakdown)
Game one: MFM FC 2-1 Rivers United (NPFL. Agege Stadium, Lagos on February 24, 2016)
Game two: Rivers United 4-1 MFM FC (NPFL. Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on June 12, 2016).
Game three: MFM FC 2-1 Rivers United (NPFL. Agege Stadium, Lagos on March 22, 2017)
Photo credit: MFM Media.