A derby comes as a game which gasconade is much fought for.
One game which will have bragging rights fought for, is the Oriental Derby game between Enyimba FC and Heartland of Owerri today, at the Enyimba adopted UJ Esuene stadium in Calabar on NPFL MATCH Day 2.
NPFL match day 1 produced excitements across different centers at the weekend, most especially Plateau United kicking off their title defense in a thrilling manner, with a 0-1 away win against Nasarswa utd, having Kennedy Boboye maintain his record of not losing on match day 1.
One of the biggest games for mid week no doubt, is a game of rivalry between Enyimba and Heartland.
Enyimba’s opening day fixture at Lobi stars ended in a productive 1-1 stalemate, with Lobi having to fight back to earn a draw.
For Heartland, it was a barren draw at the Dan Anyiam Stadium which left couple of the Owerri fans in a bad mood, with them having to kick off in such manner, considering the fixtures scheduled ahead of them.
The last fixture between both teams ended 1-1 in 2016 at Enyimba’s ground, but this season could be quite tough for the Owerri team at the UJ Esuene Stadium, as Enyimba have made the adopted ground a fortress, one reason they came 3rd last season, hardly dropping points.
Also, Enyimba can build on the fact that Heartland just returned from the 2nd tier of Nigerian league football
Players to look out for tomorrow’s tie after their MD1 performance, are Wasiu Alalade of Enyimba and Moses Akinade.
Wasiu for Enyimba showed so much intent and was imperious, one reason why Enyimba got the first goal, having laid the assist leading to the goal.
For Moses Akinade, though might not have scored, but showed he’s got a threat going forward and could capitalize on any mistake.
Enyimba will miss the services of Stephen Chukwude who got stretched off during the game against Lobi stars, while Dare Ojo could still feature as skipper for the Elephants.
Ahead of the fixture, Heartland Gaffer, Ramson Madu had this to say: “Inspite of Sunday’s draw, we are ready to do better in our next games, be it Enyimba on Wednesday in the Derby or any other team, but Enyimba is the focus for now, and we are ready”.
Speaking to Naijafootballplus.com, Dare Ojo said; “Playing against heartland is not going to be easy after dropping points at home against sunshine, so they are coming to calabar all in the hope of getting something, but with our preparation and by God’s grace we would come out victorious, Operation 3 points. All hands on deck, all minds together and we have worked very hard, so we are winning”.
The game definitely should live up to the expectations of it being a derby, and should provide scintillating scenes, but Enyimba definitely favourites going into this one.