Action resumes in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) on Sunday with several mouth-watering fixtures to look forward to.
The confrontation between the leaders, Wikki Tourists and four-time champions, Kano Pillars is arguably the pick of the ties on match day 23 but the game in Anaedo, Nnewi between FC Ifeanyi Ubah and Rivers United also catches the eye.
Rivers United have started the second half of the season in blistering fashion; amassing seven points from a possible nine in the NPFL and qualifying for the last 16 of the Federation Cup following an earth-shaking 4-0 dismantling of Kaduna United in midweek.
Stanley Eguma’s charges are only second on the NPFL standings as a function of goals difference and could go top on Sunday with a win over FCIU (if the leaders, Wikki fail to amass maximum points against Pillars in Bauchi).
Beating FCIU in Nnewi is however easier said than done. No side in the NPFL have been able to achieve that feat this season.
The ‘Anaedo Warriors’ are unbeaten in eight home games this season and only failed to win in two of those fixtures against Abia Warriors (on May 1) and MFM FC (on May 19).
Both games ended 0-0 as the club endured a relatively unproductive month in terms of points return in home games.
It is almost impossible to talk about FCIU without a mention of charismatic financier, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah who makes no secret of his desire to make the club one of the most accomplished across the continent.
Chief Ubah refused to let his head drop after his charges lost 0-2 to United in the reverse fixture in Port Harcourt on February 28.
“Losing our second match of the season is not such a bad thing. As the season progresses, the players will (improve).
“They will get as a unit as we progress,” Chief Ubah told supersport.com four months ago.
Four months on, FCIU sit in 13th place on the log with 27 points, 11 adrift of Sunday’s opponents, Rivers United.
United are flying at the moment and are the side no one wants to face at this point in time.
Stanley Eguma’s men have scored eight goals in their last two matches in all competitions while letting in just one.
Eguma, the technical manager of United, however realizes that getting a positive result in Nnewi will be no walk in the park.
“FCIU is one of the best funded teams in the NPFL. They have a good team and an excellent management.
“We have great respect for them but we are prepared.
“We go to Nnewi with expectations of a good result. We are hungry and we want to get good results wherever we play,” he said.
Sunday’s confrontation between the two sides should be heralded by plenty of fireworks and goals.
Form guide (last five matches)
FCIU 0-2 Enyimba (A)
FCIU 0-0 MFM FC (H)
FCIU 2-0 Niger Tornadoes (H)
FCIU 1-2 Niger Tornadoes (A)
FCIU 2-4 Nasarawa United (A)
Rivers United (WDWLW)
Rivers United 1-0 Akwa United (H)
Rivers United 0-1 Lobi Stars (A)
Rivers United 1-0 Lobi Stars (H)
Rivers United 0-0 Enyimba (A)
Rivers United 4-1 MFM FC (H)
Prediction: FCIU 2-2 Rivers United