NPFL18 Match Day 19 Preview: Abia Warriors versus Rivers United

Rivers United aim to compound Abia Warriors’ misery
This season’s Nigeria Professional Football League reaches the halfway stage on Sunday and Rivers United is one of 20 sides in action.
The ‘Pride of Rivers’ make the short trip to Umuahia to face Abia Warriors with important points up for grabs.
United come into Sunday’s fixture in fine fettle with just one defeat suffered in their last five league games.
Abia Warriors however represent tough proposition and are unbeaten at their own patch this season.
The Warriors have won five and drawn four of their nine home games this season and will be fancied to claim maximum points against the high-flying visitors from Port Harcourt.
United will however be well aware of the fact that Abia Warriors have yet to win in their last five games in the NPFL and confidence levels are not exactly sky high at the Umuahia club as a result.
If the Warriors are to trip Rivers United on Sunday, a big performance will be required from marksman, Obi Samson.
Obi is flavour of the month in Umuahia following barnstorming displays in recent weeks.
The attacker has been outstanding this season and will be the Warriors’ go to guy on Sunday.
Personal milestones will however need to be matched with collective success from the unit if euphoria is to be achieved in front of the home faithful on Sunday.
Ndifreke Effiong’s prowess from set pieces is well-documented and United will be well-advised not give away free kicks in and around the box.
Chinedu Efugh provides steel, solidity and bags of experience to the host’s rear guard.
Ubong Williams, Goodluck Ozioma, Shadrack Asiegbu, Anthony Okemmiri and Austin Obaroakpo are other individuals that can hurt the Port Harcourt club on Sunday.
Rivers United team news
Club captain, Festus Austine sat out the 1-1 draw in Lagos against MFM FC but he has made a recovery from a thigh injury he picked up against Nasarwa United in Port Harcourt on April 15.
He has made the trip to Umuahia but faces a battle to return to the starting XI after Olalekan Gabriel and Samson Gbadebo impressed in the heart of the United defence in the game in Lagos on Monday.
Samuel ‘Pogba’ Ganda started at right back in Lagos but he is likely to be replaced by Markson Ojobo who missed the game against MFM.
United also welcome back striker, Guy Kuemian who has been indisposed for over a month.
Technical manager of United, Stanley Eguma says his charges will need to be up for it against a very difficult opponent.
“I know that we are equal to the task and we are raring to go. It is a big match and we hope that we come back (to Port Harcourt) with a good result,” Eguma told our official website,
Rivers United squad versus Abia Warriors
Sunday Rotimi
Emeka Nwabulu
Samuel Ganda
Zoumana Doumbia
Ali Chiwendu
Ojobo Markson
Festus Austine
Gbadebo Samson
Gabriel Olalekan
Atuloma Emeka
Weli Christian
Obomate Frederick
Ochowechi ‘Oche’ Salefu
Bamba Bakary
Ogbugh Emeka
Osita Chikere
Malachi Ohawume
Guy Kuemian Venance
Game: Abia Warriors versus Rivers United
Competition: Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)
Match day: Nineteen (19)
Current positions of respective clubs on the NPFL log: Abia Warriors FC; Twelveth (12th), Rivers United: Fourth (4th);
Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018
Venue: Umuahia Township Stadium, Umuahia
Time: 4 pm
**Live coverage**
Live coverage of this game will be available on Twitter (@RiversUnitedFC) and our official WhatsApp channel from 3:45 pm on match day.
Form guide (last five NPFL matches)
Rivers United (DWWLW)
Rivers United 2-0 Heartland (H)
Rivers United 1-2 Katsina United (A)
Rivers United 2-0 Akwa United (H)
Rivers United 1-0 Nasarawa United (H)
Rivers United 1-1 MFM FC (A)
Abia Warriors (LDDDD)
Abia Warriors 1-1 Akwa United (A)
Abia Warriors 1-1 Lobi Stars (H)
Abia Warriors 0-0 Heartland (A)
Abia Warriors 1-1 Katsina United (H)
Abia Warriors 0-1 Nasarawa (A)
Matches: Four (4)
Abia Warriors wins: Two (2)
Rivers United wins: One (1)
Draws; One (1)
Goals for: Abia Warriors: Five (5); Rivers United; Two (2)
Goals against: Abia Warriors: Two (2); Rivers United; Five (5)
Points accumulated (in competitive matches):  Abia Warriors: Seven (7)   Rivers United: Four (4)
Details (Specific breakdown)
Game one: Abia Warriors 1-0 Rivers United (Umuahia Township Stadium, May 15, 2016)
Game two: Rivers United 0-0 Abia Warriors (NPFL. Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on September 25, 2016).
Game two: Rivers United 1-0 Abia Warriors (NPFL. Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on April 9, 2017).
Game four: Abia Warriors 4-1 Rivers United (Umuahia Township Stadium, September 9, 2017)
Photo credit, LMC and @MFMFC_Lagos

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