Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo will come alive on Sunday when Aiteo Cup champions Akwa United Football Club square up against 2016 NPFL champions Enugu Rangers in one of Matchday 1 fixtures of the 2017/2018 Nigeria Professional Football League.
The Promise Keepers will go into the match with the hope of beating the Flying Antelopes who have not lost at the Nest of Champions in their last two visits.
In 2016, Enugu Rangers defeated Akwa United 3-2 on their way to lifting the league title and forced the home side to a goalless draw last season. But, Maikaba’s team is determined to go for all three points on Sunday to get their season off to a flying start.
With the arrival of top quality players like former Rangers Vice Captain Etim Matthew, Denis Nya from Lobi Stars, Victor Mbaoma, Ajibola Otegbeye, Gabriel Wassa, Kelly Kester, and youngsters such as Aminu Nuhu, Aniekeme Asuquo, Adeshina Gata, Yenne Tenton
, Katoh Haggai coupled with the bulk of star players that won the Aiteo Cup and also finished 4th in the league, the Promise keepers look set to hit the ground running in their first home match of the season.
The CAF Confederation Cup contenders were unbeaten at the Nest of Champions last season after recording 16 victories and three draws in 19 home matches. Coach Maikaba’s team will hope on the massive support of their fans for the season opener.
Speaking with the media department of the club, Coach Abdu Maikaba who is banking on the massive support of their fans for the season opener expressed optimism with his team's readiness for the campaign.
"We have had a wonderful pre-seasons
programme and we have also added top class players to our team. We have achieved the blend and understanding we needed, so we are fully prepared and ready to go into the new season.
"Last season, we picked only one point from a possible six against Rangers, but this is a new season, and on Sunday we will do our best to win the game. A win in our first match of the season will encourage and motivate us to achieve our target this season."
Coach Maikaba who said he wants to continue his unbeaten home record however
urged fans in the state to give the team the needed support to mount a serious title challenge.
Akwa United versus Enugu Rangers fixture will be broadcast live on television.