Matchday thirteen of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is laced with plenty of intriguing fixtures and the contest between Akwa United and Rivers United is certainly one of them.
The last time both sides met in the NPFL was on 18 Dec 2019, with Akwa United emerging victorious 2-1.
Akwa United and Rivers United began the 2020/21 season in contrasting fashion as the Uyo club surprisingly played out a goalless draw with another Uyo club Dakkada FC but have seen risen to 6th place on the log with 19 points from 12 matches.
Things were more straightforward for Port Harcourt-based Rivers United as they claimed a 1-0 victory over Rangers FC at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium on Matchday one but currently placed in 7th position with 18 points from 10 Matches .
The stakes will be extremely high on Sunday as the ‘Promise Keepers’ will be eager to continue their impressive run in the league, particularly after earning a 1-1 draw on Sunday against Enyimba FC in Aba.
Akwa’s head coach, Kennedy Boboye will depend on his talisman Ndifreke Effiong as he seeks to topple the ‘Pride of Rivers’ on Sunday. Ndifreke Effiong has been involved in 9 of the 12 goals scored by Akwa United this season including 2 assists.
Other personnel that will likely feature for Akwa on Sunday are Samson Gbadebo, Olisa Ndah, Charles Atshimene and feared marksman, Samuel Amadi.
David Phillip scored Akwa’s equaliser in Aba against Enyimba and the Rivers United rearguard will do well to pay the diminutive player close attention.
Boboye is full of respect for United but insists his side will not give anything to chance on Sunday.
“Our home form has been very impressive and we are determined to make our home a fortress, meaning we have to give 100% in every match. We won’t leave anything to chance on Sunday because the match against Rivers United is a must-win and a positive result will motivate us to keep fighting for points.” Boboye revealed
There are no injury worries or suspensions in the United camp and technical manager, Stanley Eguma has set his sights on a positive performance on Sunday.
“We must try to get a good result against Akwa United; an excellent team that is having a good run at the moment.”
“We are also an excellent team and will put in our best to get our campaign back on track.” he said.
Rivers United midfielder mestro, Cletus Emotan is also expectant of maximum points from the ‘Uyo expedition’.
“We want maximum points in Uyo,” he said simply.
A compelling contest awaits and fireworks are guaranteed at the Nest of Champions.
Form guide (last five NPFL matches)
Form team: D W L W W W
Last 6 matches analysis
6-Matches, 8-Goals, average 1.33 goals scored per game.
4-Wins, 1-Draws, 1-Loss.
Rivers United FC
Form team: L W L W L W
Last 6 matches analysis
6-Matches, 7-Goals, average 1.17 goals scored per game.
3 Wins, 0 Draws, 3 Losses
Previous meetings (Head-to-head)
Matches: Six (6)
Akwa United wins: One (1)
Rivers United wins: Three (3)
Draws; Two (2)
Details (Specific breakdown)
Akwa United 2-1 Rivers United (Dec 18, 2019)
Rivers United 2-0 Akwa United (April 12, 2018)
Rivers United 1-1 Akwa United (July 26, 2017)
Akwa United 1-1 Rivers United (Jan 18, 2017)
Akwa United 1-2 Rivers United (Oct 2, 2016)
Rivers United 1-0 Akwa United (May 18, 2016)