Another big weekend awaits players of Rivers United as they face Sunshine Stars in Akure on match day 28 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
United are flying having won their last three games in all competitions but they face a stern test on Saturday against a Sunshine Stars side that have only lost once at home all season.
That defeat (against Kano Pillars) on May 1 now seems a distant memory as Sunshine Stars have slowly worked their way up the table and currently sit in seventh place.
As always, head coach of the Akure club, Solomon Ogbeide will be banking on integral members of his squad like goalkeeper, Olorunleke Ojo, Oke Ogagotewho, Wilfred Da, Dayo Ojo and Dele Olorundare to deliver the goods.
Sunshine Stars remain the only side to have escaped defeat to Rivers United at their home ground-the Yakubu Gowon Stadium Port Harcourt- in a game that finished 0-0 on March 23.
On that occasion, Ogbeide insisted that his charges were unfortunate not to amass maximum points.
“We had a match plan of playing on the break. We planned to soak the pressure and could easily have scored two goals against them,” Ogbeide said.
The veteran trainer’s tactics will be completely different on Saturday as Sunshine Stars will be trying to secure a win.
United in contrast will be happy to avoid defeat but technical manager of the club, Stanley Eguma knows his side could go top of the table with a win on Saturday (if Wikki Tourists and Enugu Rangers drop points at the weekend).
“It will be a big game where we have to strategize and try to win.
“If there is any game where we need to get a win on the road, it is this one because they are the only side we have failed to beat at home this season but it will not be easy,” he told Rivers United Media.
It promises to be a compelling contest as the two top sides go all out for the win that will boost their current positions on the standings.
Form guide (last five matches)
Sunshine Stars (LDWWD)
Sunshine Stars 2-0 Lobi Stars (H)
Sunshine Stars MFM FC (H)
Sunshine Stars 0-0 Akwa (lost on penalties in the Federation Cup)
Sunshine Stars 0-0 FC Ifeanyi Ubah (A)
Sunshine Stars 0-3Nasarawa United (A)
Rivers United (WWLLW)
Rivers United 0-2 FCIU (A)
Rivers United 0-1 Nasarawa United (A)
Rivers United 1-0 Niger Tornadoes (H)
Rivers United 0-0 Shooting Stars (United won on penalties in the Federation Cup)
Rivers United 2-0 Shooting Stars (H)
Prediction: Sunshine Stars 1-3 Rivers United