It is going to be ‘Super Sunday’ in the Nigerian Professional Football League as the two most successful clubs in recent times face off in an undoubtedly the biggest game of the Match Day 9, at the famous Sani Abacha Stadium Kano. This game have been described by Football lovers in and around the country as the ‘Nigeria’s El Clasico’.
Both finest clubs combined to win 10 League titles out of the last 16 and the fixture between them successfully replaced the ones we used to have in the 1970’s and 1980’s between Rangers International of Enugu and Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan.
The Sai Masu Gida approach the tie brimming with confidence as they have been impressive throughout the current season having lost just once in their last eight fixtures.
Pillars were able to keep four clean sheets in their previous four games scoring a total of four goals in the process and they have a hundred percent record at home, recording victories in each of the home game played so far.
A possible return to action of Pillars talisman, Rabiu Ali will be a good news to the ‘Sai Masu Gida’ Faithful having missed the opening fixtures as a result of national assignment. Another important player who is set to return is Ifeanyi Nweke, the speedy right full back was signed from Rivers United and like Ali, he represented Nigeria at the 2018 CHAN in Morocco.
The return to action of Ali and Nweke will be an added advantage to the team that already caught the eyes of football fans across the land with an impressive championship winning mentality.
Pillars forced Sunshine Stars to a nil nil draw in their last game and will be looking forward to better that result on Sunday.
Like Pillars, Enyimba have been impressive so far and are unbeaten in their last five fixtures, recording three victories and sharing the spoils on two occasions.
The news making round few days ago was about Captain, Mfon Udoh returned to training after a lengthy injury that kept him out of the 2018 CHAN.
This game will be too soon for the Captain to return to action but the People’s Elephant will welcome the likes of Mustapha Ibrahim and Theophilus Afelokhai and three others back to the side in time for this crunch encounter.
Stanley Dimgba’s 10th minutes penalty was all what Enyimba needed to beat 10-man Plateau Utd in their rescheduled Match Day 8 fixture, decided at the UJ Esuene Stadium on on Wednesday.
Pillars are third on the 20 teams Nigerian Professional Football League log with 15 points and a plus 6 goals advantage having played a total of 8 games.
On the other hand, the People’s Elephant are on the 5th spot with 13 points from same number of matches as Pillars but with only plus 1 goal advantage.
Pillars 2-1 Abia Warriors
El Kanemi 0-0 Pillars
Pillars 2-0 Plateau Utd
Pillars 2-0 MFM FC
Sunshine Stars 0-0 Pillars
Enyimba 1-0 Nasarawa Utd
Rivers Utd 1-1 Enyimba
Enyimba 1-0 Abia Warriors
El Kanemi 0-0 Enyimba
Enyimba 1-0 Plateau Utd
HEAD TO HEAD
Between 2013 and 2017, Both teams have faced off on ten different occasions with Pillars winning four and Enyimba winning on six occasions and no draw have been recorded in the last five seasons.
Pillars were able to scored a total of 9 goals in those fixtures while Enyimba scored a total of 13 goals.
30-07-17: Enyimba 1-0 Pillars
05-03-17: Pillars 3-0 Enyimba
17-07-16: Enyimba 2-1 Pillars
04-05-16: Pillars 1-2 Enyimba
19-08-15: Enyimba 1-0 Pillars
19-04-15: Pillars 1-0 Enyimba
16-11-14: Enyimba 3-1 Pillars
01-06-14: Pillars 1-0 Enyimba
11-09-13: Pillars 1-0 Enyimba
12-05-13: Enyimba 3-0 Pillars
Though, Enyimba is one of the only few sides to have ever recorded a victory over Pillars at home, they need to worry about the Pride of Kano’s perfect home record in the ongoing season plus the ‘Red hot Lokosa’.
The Sai Masu Gida side have been scoring for fun at home this season and have successfully scored a staggering 8 league goals (an average of 2 goals per match) and conceded just once against Abia Warriors.
On the other hand, Enyimba recorded 3 draws on the road out of the 4 played so far but were walloped 2 nil at Katsina and have managed to scored just 2 goals in the process.
Ibrahim Musa Of Kano Pillars: “It is going to be like every other game to us but knowing how good Enyimba are, we have prepared very well for the tie.
“Our main target as always is to get all the 3 points and doing so will help us improve on our position on the log.
On the importance of Ali and Nweke’s return. The experience gaffer told www.kanopillars.com that all the 36 registered players are equally important but will access each player’s performance in the training before making a final decision on whether to start them or not.
“Look, we didn’t built our team around anybody. “Had it been we do so, we would not have been near where we are at the moment because we loss 3 players for CHAN. Musa added.
Pillars will be boosted with the return of Christmas Madaki from an injury that has kept him out of the match at Sunshine.