‘Pride of Rivers’ aim to stop ‘Solid Miners’
Rivers United return to Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) action on Sunday, April 15 when they face Nasarawa United at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt.
The two sides posted contrasting results on Thursday in their respective rescheduled League matches.
Rivers United tripped Akwa United 2-0 in Port Harcourt while Nasarwa United suffered a 1-2 reverse in Lagos to the MFM club.
Eight places and four points currently separate the two sides and a win could see the ‘Pride of Rivers’ go seven points clear of their opponents with two games before the season reaches the half way stage.
Rivers United is currently level on points with third-placed Katsina United and a win will cement their position in the top half of the table.
Getting the better of the ‘Solid Miners’ have never been easy for the ‘Pride of Rivers’ and the importance of Sunday’s contest is not lost on the club’s technical manager, Stanley Eguma.
“Nasarawa United is a good team that have previously performed well in away games so we will not underrate them,” Eguma told our official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
“We have to work very very hard to ensure that we get the victory.
“We also have to guard against any upsets but we will be ready for the game,” he said.
The mood within the camp of Nasarawa United is not exactly upbeat following the loss in Lagos to MFM FC but head coach of Nasarawa United, Kabiru Dogo, who will be looking for a quick response from his charges knows things can change very quickly in football.
The trainer is likely to keep faith with Suraj Ayeleso in goal with Abdullahi Abubakar, Isah Ndala, Jide Williams and captain, Emmanuel Makama providing a solid spine in defence.
Kabir Balogun, Seun Sogbeso, Douglas Achiv and Nojeem Olukokun are other members of the Nasarawa United squad that can hurt Rivers United in Port Harcourt.
Dogo is full of respect for Rivers United but is quietly optimistic his side can upset the applecart at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium on Sunday.
“We are in a (precarious position on the table) and every point is important to us,” Dogo explained.
“Rivers United is a good side; well-financed and also blessed with one of the most experienced coaches in the league in Mr Stanley Eguma.
“We respect them but we are not afraid of them and we believe that (on Sunday), we will have a good result,” he said.
Game: Rivers United versus Nasarawa United
Competition: Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)
Match day: Seventeen (17)
Current positions of respective clubs on the NPFL log: Rivers United: Sixth (6th); Nasarawa United: Fifteenth (15th)
Date: Sunday, April 15, 2018
Venue: Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt
Time: 4 pm
Live coverage of this game will be available on Twitter (@RiversUnitedFC) and our official WhatsApp channel from 3:00 pm on match day.
Form guide (last five NPFL matches)
Rivers United (WLWLL)
Rivers United 0-3 Wikki Tourists (A)
Rivers United 2-3 Lobi Stars (A)
Rivers United 2-0 Heartland (H)
Rivers United 1-2 Katsina United (A)
Rivers United 2-0 Akwa United (H)
Nasarawa United (LWLWL)
Nasarawa United 0-1 Akwa United (H)
Nasarawa United 2-1 Lobi Stars (H)
Nasarawa United 1-2 Heartland (A)
Nasarawa United 2-1 Katsina United (H)
Nasarawa United 1-2 MFM (A)
Previous meetings (head-to-head meetings in competitive matches)
Matches: Four (4)
Rivers United wins: Two (2) Nasarawa United wins; Two (2)
Goals for: Nasarawa United: Two (2); Rivers United: Two (2);
Goals against: Nasarwa United: Two (2); Rivers United: Two (2);
Points accumulated (in competitive matches): Nasarawa United: Six (6); Rivers United: Six (6).
Details (Specific breakdown)
Game one: Rivers United 1-0 Nasarawa United (NPFL. Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on March 6, 2016)
Game two: Nasarawa United 1-0 Rivers United (NPFL. Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi on July 2, 2016).
Game three: Nasarwa United 1-0 Rivers United (NPFL. Lafia Township Stadium, Lafia on April 30, 2017)
Game four: Rivers United 1-0 Nasarwa United (NPFL. Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on May 20, 2017)