Sunshine Stars and Rivers United renew hostilities at the Ondo State Sports Complex Wednesday, after both sides sat out most recent NPFL game duties due to non availability of their respective opponents on match day three.
With four round of matches into the new season, United’s visit affords the home faithful the chance to finally enjoy their newly assembled team under coach Kabiru Dogo play a league game for the first time in Akure in 2019.
The contest appeared just evenly and delicately poised following gusty displays in the sides only game played in the new campaign – Sunshine Stars shared the spoils 1-1 with Kwara United on match day one in Ilorin, while Rivers drew at Tornadoes last Wednesday.
Nevertheless, the history of this NPFL classic is overwhelmingly one sided in favour of the Akure Landlords who edged this match 2-0 a year ago, and drew the reverse fixture in Portharcourt to extend their invisibility run against the coach Stanley Eguma tinkered side to six matches.
Since the merger of Dolphins and Sharks FC or the name change of the former to Rivers United, Sunshine Stars have not conceded a goal against the Pride of Rivers in all matches between the sides, and have won all the three games played in Akure from 2016.
Sunshine Stars also secured a second preseason trophy in 2018 by edging United 4-2 on penalties after regulation time play ended barren in the final of the Governor Nyeson Wike Unity Cup at the Sharks Stadium, Portharcourt, during the yuletide.
In his pre match session with Sunshine Stars/ODSFA Media on the eve of the game, Dogo expressed respect for coach Eguma and his boys, though have his mind set on pleasing the fans with a win on Wednesday.
“I respect coach Eguma and his team a lot, Rivers United are very strong side, but we are playing our first game at home and we will be going out for a full victory; we want to show the fans we are ready to bring back the glory of the good old days.
“On their part, the boys are ready, the government, management and everyone have done so well, so we want total victory tomorrow.” The coach declares.
Coach Dogo will enjoy the compliment of a near full squad to choose from on Wednesday as more of the new players unveiled on Saturday including Seun Sogbesan, Esosa Igbinoba and Ayo Ojo will be available for selection.
The game will see the return to Akure of former Sunshine Stars duo, Kehinde Adedipe and Kunle Odunlami who recently switched to Rivers, while Olalekan Gabriel will relish facing his former teammates after he rejoined the hosts from United in the off season.
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