Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma has said he expects improvements from his team today at home against four-time champions Kano Pillars after they fell at champions Plateau United in midweek.
“We will keep that (defeat to Plateau United in Jos) behind us and then look forward to the next game (against Kano Pillars),” he began in an exclusive interview with the Rivers United FC official website, www.riversunitedfc.com.ng.
“We have to do better (against Kano Pillars) who are a very strong side.
“We have to map out strategies and the right formation that will give us victory in Port Harcourt.”
Eguma’s sentiments about Kano Pillars appear to be based on solid foundations.
‘Sai Masu Gida’ have yet to lose this term and were only denied an opening day win against Katsina United by a stoppage time equaliser by Destiny Ashady in a rip-roaring 2-2 free-for-all decided at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium in Katsina.
Normal service resumed at the Sani Abacha Stadium on matchday two as Pillars cruised to a straightforward 2-0 win over Nasarawa United.
The four-time NPFL champions look extremely formidable this season with David Obiazo, Chinedu Udoji, Emmanuel Anyanwu and Kamal Sikiru providing a solid spine.
Nzube Anaezemba failed to hit expected heights with United last season but he has looked extremely lively this term in the colours of ‘Sai Masu Gida’ this term.
He will return to Port Harcourt with a point to prove while Junior Lokosa, a man who knows his way to goal, has proven to be one of the most exciting attacking prospects in the division this season.
Spokesman of Pillars, Idris Malikawa, has insisted the Kano club will be taking to the Yakubu Gowon Stadium pitch with the intent of winning.
“It is a vital match for us. Kano Pillars has a target this season and we want to accomplish it,” Malikawa submitted.
A potentially special game for the ages awaits.
Game: Rivers United versus Kano Pillars
Competition: Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)
Match day: Three
Current positions of respective clubs on the NPFL log: Rivers United: 13th; Kano Pillars: 3rd
Date: Sunday, January 21, 2018
Venue: Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt
Time: 4 pm
Form guide (last five NPFL matches)
Rivers United (DWLWL)
Rivers United 1-1 Plateau United (Away)
Rivers United 3-0 Gombe United (Home)
Rivers United 1-4 Abia Warriors (Away)
Rivers United 1-0 El Kanemi Warriors (Home)
Rivers United 0-2 Plateau United (Away)
Kano Pillars (LWLDW)
Kano Pillars 0-1 Nasarawa United (Away)
Kano Pillars 2-0 El Kanemi Warriors (Home)
Kano Pillars 0-3 Akwa United (Away)
Kano Pillars 2-2 Katsina United (Away)
Kano Pillars 2-0 Nasarawa United (Home)
Previous meetings (head-to-head)
Matches: Four (4)
Rivers United wins: One (1)
Kano Pillars wins: Two (2)
Draws; One (1)
Goals for: Rivers United: Two (2); Kano Pillars: Four (4)
Goals against: Rivers United: Four (4); Kano Pillars: Two (2)
Points accumulated (in competitive matches): Rivers United: Four (4); Kano Pillars United: Seven (7)
Details (Specific breakdown)
Game one: Rivers United 1-0 Kano Pillars (NPFL: Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on April 17, 2016).
Game two: Kano Pillars 1-0 Rivers United (NPFL: Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano on August 21, 2016)
Game three: Rivers United 1-1 Kano Pillars (NPFL; Yakubu Gowon Stadium on February 22, 2017)
Game four: Kano Pillars 2-0 Rivers United (NPFL; Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano on August 3, 2017)