Katsina United, who drew their fourth home game last week, will face another tough test today at Rivers United in an NPFL matchday 33 fixture inside the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt.
Katsina United dropped to 14th position after last Sunday’s home draw with ABS.
They now have 42 points from 32 games.
Rivers United, who lost 2 – 0 to Kano Pillars on Thursday in a rescheduled matchday 27 game, now occupy 16th position with 41 points from 32 points as their poor run of form in the season continues.
Both teams will be looking forward to a result from this crunch tie as they are just two points away from relegation zone.
Katsina United, whose away form is nothing to write home about, will do everything possible to ensure they don’t go back home without a point as any result other than a win or at least a draw will suck them into the relegation dog fight.
Rivers United will be looking forward to win this game so as to appease their fans, who are disappointed by their shambolic performance thus far this season.
Consequently, the fact that both teams want to avoid relegation will be the theme going into this game and so the reason this tie will be a fight to finish between Rivers United and Katsina United.
The reverse of this game was played in April at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium in Katsina, where the ‘ Chanji Boys’ won 2-0.
Katsina United top scorer Chinedu Udechukwu’s textbook headers in both halves earned the home team the maximum points.
The goals were assisted by Isah Abdulrahaman and Eric Gwammy.
However, Udechukwu did not make this trip to Port Harcourt due to injury he suffered three weeks ago against Lobi Stars at home.
Musa ‘Ronaldo’ Suleman, Destiny Ashadi, Usman Bello and Ikechukwu Nwachukwu will also miss this game due to various injuries.
“Yes, some of our key players are injured but that won’t be a problem. We have capable replacement for them. Destiny, Musa, Bello, Chinedu and Joshua all failed to make this trip due to injury,” said coach Bauldwin Bazauye
“They are all responding well to treatment and we are hoping to have them back soon.”
He added: “Our position on the league table is not good , that’s why we will have to give it our all so as to ensure we get something positive here in Port Harcourt.
“No doubt is going to be a tough encounter, but it’s a game of football, 90 minutes will judge at the end of the day.
“ABS came to Katsina and picked a vital point away from the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, with that it’s extremely possible for us to get positive result here.”
Both teams met for the first time in a competitive competition in the first round of the on-going NPFL season back in April and Katsina United won the game by two goals by Chinedu Udechukwu.
Katsina United have struggled away from home, just managing two points on the road thus far, but they have now scored four goals in their last two games.
Rivers United, on the other hand, have dropped eight points at home this season out of a possible 48 home points.
Rivers United home form in the last five league games
Katsina United away form in the last five league games
Rivers United form in the last five league games
Katsina United form in the last five league games
Rivers United are 16th on the league table with 41 points picked from 32 games, while Katsina United are 14th with 42 points.
Players to Watch
Rivers United – Emeka Atuloma
Katsina United – Adah Joseph Oma
Venue – Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt
Capacity – 30,000
Date – Monday 9th August, 2017.
Time – 4pm
By Wale Oyekanmi