Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) leaders, Enugu Rangers face Rivers United at the Yakubu Gowon (former Port Harcourt) Liberation Stadium on Sunday in a game that promises to be emotional, passionate, well-fought and exciting.
Rangers arrive in Port Harcourt in swashbuckling form, playing aesthetic yet effective football that has seen them go four points clear at the top of the NPFL log.
Exciting talent like Obinna Nwobodo, Bobby Clement, Godwin Aguda and the electrifying Chisom Egbuchulam have wowed plenty while putting many a side to the sword in emphatic fashion and raising hopes among the faithful that Rangers could well buck the trend of failing to land major silverware for the first time in more than two decades.
Sunday will also be a special day for Rangers forward, Ifeanyi Egwim who returns to his former stomping ground (he used to play for Dolphins FC) but this time, in the strips of a visiting side.
The attacker is sure to receive a warm reception from the United fans who still remember his exploits in Port Harcourt with fondness.
In Imama Amapakabo, Rangers possess a trainer, who practically inspires his side and leads by example not quite dissimilar to (Argentinean coach), Diego Simeone at Spanish club, Atletico Madrid.
The Flying Antelopes are heavy favourites to condemn United to their first home defeat of the season.
Rangers are undefeated from their last five games (four wins and one draw).
One of those wins was away from home (against Giwa FC) and the draw was in Lagos against MFM FC.
United are yet to lose nor conceded at home this term and have beaten storied opposition along the way as well.
United will however have to surmount the task of claiming prestigious scalp in the absence of several trusted personnel who miss out either through injury or suspension.
Clearly, something has to give on Sunday as the ‘force of nature’ comes up against the ‘immovable object’.
Form guide (last five matches)
Rivers United (WWLWL)
Rivers United 3-2 Ikorodu United (A)
Rivers United 1-0 El Kanemi Warriors(H)
Rivers United 1-2 Heartland (A)
Rivers United 1-0 Kano Pillars (H)
Rivers United 1-2 Plateau United (A)
Enugu Rangers (WDWWW)
Enugu Rangers 2-1 Enyimba (H)
Enugu Rangers 1-1 MFM (A)
Enugu Rangers 1-0 FCIU (H)
Enugu Rangers 2-1 Nasarawa United(H)
Enugu Rangers 1-0 Giwa FC (A)
Prediction: Rivers United 2-1 Enugu Rangers.