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Preview: Rivers United versus Heartland

17 August 2016, 15:34

Port Harcourt - This season’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has entered the home strait and Rivers United return to action in the competition on Wednesday to face Owerri club, Heartland.

United lost the reverse fixture 2-1 at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri on April 10 with Anthony Oussou and Onyebuchi Ajunwa plundering the goals for the hosts while Guy Kuemian nicked the consolation for ‘The Pride of Rivers’ at a frenzied Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri.

The standout moment in that game in Owerri had negative connotations- Heartland’s Brown Braye Okpus collapsed unchallenged in the second half and had to be revived subsequently in Hospital.

Wednesday’s contest at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium is expected to be fiercely-fought with the technical manager of United, Stanley Eguma quick to express respect for the opposition.

“This will be a big game mostly because of the rivalry that exists between football clubs from Rivers State and Imo State.

“We will do our best to win the game but the truth is that the position of Heartland on the NPFL standings make them look like wounded Lions.

“They will give us the fight of their lives but we will not handle this with kid gloves to ensure that no points are dropped,” Eguma told Rivers United Media.

Meanwhile, the noises from the Heartland camp are largely positive with the club’s spokesman insisting the ‘Naze Millionaires’ are in Port Harcourt to amass maximum points.

“We are in Port Harcourt to win but we know the task will not be easy.

“Rivers United is a very good side but so are we.

“We are down right now but we can still spring a surprise,” he said.

Also read: Fed Cup: Rivers United, Enyimba clash headline quarter finals

Rivers United is currently in third place on the NPFL standings with 47 points from 28 matches while Heartland occupies 18th spot with 33 points from 28 matches.

News24 reported that Coach of Shooting Stars Sports Club Gbenga Ogunbote has admitted that Rivers United showed more maturity than his side in the Federation Cup Round of 16 tie.

Form guide (Last five NPFL matches)

Rivers United (WLLWW)

Rivers United 1-0 Niger Tornadoes (Home)

Rivers United 2-0 Shooting Stars (Home)

Rivers United 0-1 Sunshine Stars (Away)

Rivers United 1-0 El Kanemi Warriors (Away)

Rivers United 2-0 Ikorodu United (Home)


Heartland (WDLWL)

Heartland 0-2 Lobi Stars (Away)

Heartland 1-0 Enyimba (Home)

Heartland 0-2 MFM FC (Away)

Heartland 0-0 FCIU

Heartland 1-0 Nasarawa United

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- News24 Nigeria


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