Nigeria League: Enyimba, Rangers, Others Set for Crunch Oriental Derby


The biggest of the Oriental derbies will go down on Sunday in the Nigeria Professional Football League as Enugu Rangers play host to Enyimba FC at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu.

With seven domestic league titles apiece between both teams and a measure of dominance on the continental scene, expectations are understandably high for an explosive tie at ‘The Cathedral’ on Sunday.

It is Match Day 12 encounter of NPFL 2018 season and all the fanfare associated with previous derbies will be present as the ‘Flying Antelopes’ try to outsmart the visiting ‘Peoples Elephant’ from neighbouring Aba, Abia state.

Interestingly, Coach Gbenga Ogunbote who is now in charge at Rangers was at the helms of affairs last season in Enyimba and the Ogun state born tactician will want to prove a point against his former employers.

Good Form

Both Rangers and Enyimba are going into Sunday’s game on the back of impressive results.

While Rangers got a valuable 1-1 draw in a match day 11 encounter with Sunshine Stars in Akure, Enyimba were too hot to handle in their CAF Confederation Cup outing; beating their hosts 2-0 in Cotonou.

Coach Ogunbote may likely rely on ex-Enyimba players in his fold to do the damage against his former wards as he targets all three points to enhance his team’ chances of playing continental football next season.

On his part, Enyimba coach Paul Aigbogun would likely throw a first start in the league to mercurial midfielder, Ikechukwu Ibenegbu, to steady the midfield for the Elephants while Ghanaian shot stopper Dauda Fatau will keep his place between the sticks.

The duo of Ifeanyi Anaemena and Nelson Ogbonna will be manning the heart of the defence while Stanley Dimgba and Chinonso Okonkwo will lead the attack.