Rivers United will be gunning for a third consecutive home win in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) this season when they face Enyimba International in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
United have won on each of the last two occasions they have faced Enyimba in the NPFL in Port Harcourt and will be hoping normal service continues on Sunday.
Enyimba however look to be on a renaissance this term and won 1-0 against Nasarawa United in their last NPFL game on Thursday at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar.
Stanley Dimgba scored the winner against the Solid Miners and he is likely to start against the ‘Pride of Rivers’ on Sunday, supported by a stellar cast that includes Stephen Chukwude, Chinedu Udeagha and fearsome attacker, Chinonso Okonkwo who makes a return to his old stomping ground.
Okonkwo is a darling in Port Harcourt having played his part as United punched above their weight to finish as runners up behind Enugu Rangers in the NPFL two seasons ago.
Enyimba head coach, Paul Aigbigun is likely to favour Ghanaian goalkeeper, Fatau Dauda to start between the sticks while Olayinka Onaolapo and Benjamin Francis represent a strong spine in the back four.
Ugochukwu Leonard, Ernest Governor, Dare Ojo and Ifeanyi Anaemena are other individuals that Aigbogun would be looking to bank on for a positive result in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
Anaemena is looking forward to the game on Sunday and discussed his the prospects of the ‘People’s Elephant’ with our official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
“Our expectations are very high. We know that Rivers United have prepared for us,” Anaemena began.
“Clubs (in the NPFL) have been winning (both) at home and away from home so we expect nothing less than a win in Port Hacourt.
“We want our fans in Port Harcourt to come out in their numbers to support us on Sunday,” he said.
Team News Rivers United FC
Robert Cole did no wrong in his first two matches in the top flight against El-Kanemi Warriors and Plateau United but he will only get a look in on Sunday if Sunday Rotimi breaks a limb!
Eguma has decisions to make with Marson Ojobo impressing at right back in his last two games while Bello Ikeleji, who was dropped in the 0-2 reverse to Sunshine Stars in Akure has impressed in training in the past few days and will be eager to get a look in since his last appearance against Plateau United on match day two.
Koffi Roland debuted in Akure against Sunshine Stars and showed flashes of quality as United capitulated after conceded two late goals against the Akure Gunners.
Upfront, Samuel Akinbinu will be favoured to start as he has made a full recovery from the shoulder injury that kept him out of action for three match days.
He could play a vital role on Sunday.
Technical manager of United, Stanley Eguma has masterminded wins in all his homes games this term and is keen to stay true to tested and trusted ideals against Nigeria’s most successful club at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, the club’s stately patch which is fast becoming an impregnable fortress for visiting sides.
“We (Rivers United) have a philosophy and tradition of trying to keep the ball.
“We know that if we do that, we will do more of the playing and we also have to be adventurous, attack and look for goals.
“Against Enyimba, we should perform better than we did (in our last match against Sunshine Stars) because the game on Sunday is an important game,” he concluded.
Game: Rivers United versus Enyimba International
Competition: Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)
Match day: Five (5)
Current positions of respective clubs on the NPFL log: Rivers United: 14th; Enyimba: 15th
Date: Sunday, January 24, 2018
Venue: Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt
Time: 4 pm
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)
Rivers United: LLWLW
Rivers United 1-4 Abia Warriors (Away)
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)
Enyimba 1-0 Katsina United (Home)
Enyimba 1-1 Lobi Stars (Away)
Enyimba 0-0 Heartland (H)
Enyimba 0-2 Katsina United (Away)
Enyimba 1-0 Nasarawa United (Home)
Previous meetings in competitive matches (Head-to-head)
Matches: Five (5)
Rivers United wins: Two (2)
Enyimba wins: Two (2)
Draws; One (1)
Goals for: Rivers United: Three (3); Enyimba: Three (3)
Goals against: Rivers United: Three (3); Enyimba (Three)
Points accumulated: Rivers United: Seven (7) Enyimba: Four (4)
Details (Specific breakdown)
Game one: Rivers United 1-0 Enyimba (NPFL. Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on February 21, 2016)
Game two: Enyimba 0-0 Rivers United (NPFL. Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on June 9, 2016).
Game three: Enyimba 1-0 Rivers United (Federation Cup. Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan on July 28, 2016).
Game four: Enyimba 1-0 Rivers United (NPFL. UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar on March 26, 2017)
Game five: Rivers United 2-1 Enyimba (NPFL. Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on August 20, 2017).