IN-DEPTH PREVIEW OF ENYIMBA FC vs ABIA WARRIORS FC
The league is here at last, the wait, hype, expectations and promises are over. What better way to start off than a derby, the first for Enyimba this season. A good start is needed to get the boys high in spirit after a disappointing last week Wednesday in Sudan. Both teams will certainly taste league football for the first time since March, perhaps a titanic clash no other match day one fixture can rival.
*Abia Warriors* ended last season on a disappointing note but have since made up in quality acquisition and preparation. With an influx of experienced players such as *Ojobo Markson*, *Nzube Anaezemba* both former Enyimba players and 2015/2016 NPFL top scorer *Godwin Obaje,* the Umuahia based club has shown intent to compete this season and with the club’s little magician *Ugwuka Emmanuel Agogoeto’o,* the ever present *Anthony Okemmiri* and the young leader from defense *Kunle Adeleke*, Warriors seems ready for this season more than before. Tutored by *Imama Kwaku Amapakabo,* underrating Abia Warriors will be a peril to any opponent. They showed strong intent and cohesion during preseason, defeating a good number of teams including *Plateau United*. Though they lost by a lone goal to Enyimba in the final game of *Governor Ikpeazu friendly Tourney*, this will be a different ball game.
*Enyimba FC* is not in excellent form, struggling through preseason and in the *Total CAF Champions League*. This match may be the turn around the Elephants need. Coach *Osho Fatai* prefers a passing game, slowly building from the back. *Enyimba FC* enjoyed the lion share of possession in recent games played but failed to make it count. With *Victor Mbaoma* still out injured, all eyes are on available strikers to start delivering. The match against *Al Merrikh SC – المريخ السوداني* showed lack of cohesion at the back, those long balls should be cut off as quickly as possible. Hopefully *Austin Oladapo*, *Anthony Omaka* and *Cyril Olisema* will get the nod to start. Olisema has been the engine room of Enyimba’s team for a while now, he needs to rediscover his assist boots beginning on Tuesday.
*Abia Warriors* player to watch out for is *Godwin Obaje*. He has a wealth of experience and the potential to punish Enyimba through long balls. The former Etoile Sportive du Sahel striker emerged top scorer with 18 goals in 2015/2016 NPFL season. The likes of *Nzube and Ojobo* are familiar faces who already know the club well
*Enyimba FC* outstanding players has been *Olisema, Austin, Anayo Iwuala, Sanni Jean-marie Guera, the ever dependable Nelson Ogbonnaya and the little magician Gabriel Orok*. They are not strangers to this tie and if they’re given the nod unlike what we witness saw last Wednesday in Sudan, they might be a determining factor the team has been lacking for a while now. Victor Mbaoma is a notable absentee, however the squad is capable of sinking Abia Warriors.
Since 30th March 2014, Enyimba FC met Abia Warriors 11 times in the league winning 6, drew 3 while losing 2.
Enyimba FC has scored 18 times while conceding 12 in their previous meetings.
The last time they met in the league Enyimba won 4:1 away.
The match will be live on *NTA24.*
Download the official *NPFL TV App* to stream the game live.
Date: Tuesday 29th.
This will be a tense match at Enyimba International Stadium, though fans won’t be allowed into the stands yet players on both sides understand the magnitude of the derby.