High-flying Rivers United will be out to win their seventh Nigeria Professional Football League game on the bounce when they welcome closeness rivals Enyimba FC t the Adokyie Amasieamaka Stadium II for a fascinating encounter on Sunday evening.
In contrast, the visitors ran away with a 1-0 win over their host in the CAF Confederation Cup first leg tie and they are in a rut and will be desperate to avoid another defeat across all competitions this weekend.
A title charge is certainly not out of the question for this in-form Port Harcourt side, who have started the 2021 Nigeria Professional Football League with nine points from three matches.
Stanley Eguma has overseen wins against Rangers Internationals, Abia Warriors, Kwara United and Nasarawa United since the turn of the year, during which his side have scored at least three goals in each game, although they were made to work for their victory over the latter in their home match.
Rivers United stormed into a 2-0 lead courtesy of a Malachi Ohawume’s 7th-minute striker and Nelson Esor-Bulunwo Okwa 74th minute effort season, and even though Nasarawa United almost find the back of the net, Stanley Eguma’s men nevertheless held on for all three points at the Adokiye Amasieamaka Stadium.
With a game at hand, only three points separate the free-scoring Enyimba from leaders Kwara United – the one team who can boast more goals than the pride of Rivers’5 so far – and they will travel to the coal city to face Rangers International to a ground where they have only lost once all season.
A victory for Enyimba will see them leading the pack with five points at the top of the table, the ninth time champions will have to do everything to remain on top four.
The pressure is mounting considerably on the shoulders of Fatai Osho and the rest of the technical department, who has seen his side pick up ten wins games from their last eight across all competitions.
Level on the same point with Kwara United, but a game at hand will see them propel against the Afonjas of Ilorin if Fatai Osho’s men can rip up the form book and prevail at the Adokiye Amasieamaka Stadium, they cannot rise any higher up the table just yet.
Rivers United NPFL form: WWWWWWDDD
Rivers United form (CAF competitions) WWL
Enyimba FC NPFL form: WWWWWWWLL
Enyimba FC form (CAF competitions): LLW
Rivers United are expected to file their best legs in these fixtures as they hope to climb to the top of the table after 90 minutes.
Goalkeeper Theophilus Afekholai and Ifeanyi Anaemena are expected to be in the line-up against Enyimba FC.
Rivers United possible starting lineup:
Theophilus Afekholai; Godwin Aguda, Bamba Bakary, Kazie Enyinnaya; Shuji Oshobe; Fortune Omoniwaniri;Stephen Gopey; Fabian Nworie; Kehide Adedipe; Cletus Emotan
Enyimba FC possible starting lineup:
John Noble; Anayo Iwuala; Austin Oladapo; Tosin Omoleye; Sadiq Abubakar; Cyril Olisema; Imo Obot; Nabil Yarou; Stephen Manyo;Nelson Ogbonnaya; Tony Omaka