NPFL: Rangers target good start in second round

NPFL By: Ambrose Udeme | 06/05/2018

Continental bigwig and seven-time Nigerian league champions, Rangers International F.C of Enugu are targeting a good start as the second round of the 2017/2018 NPFL season rolls off as they engage the ‘Big Elephants’, Wikki Tourists F.C at their adopted home ground of Jos in the reverse fixture of the matchday 19 games.

Still savouring the massive 3-0 victory achieved against the coach Bala Nikyu wards at the ‘Cathedral’, Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu, on Matchday 19, the coach Olugbenga Ogunbote boys would be gunning for the maximum points at stake in this fixture to steady their hopes of realising its set target for the season.

With the inclusion of former Super Eagles duo of attacking sensation, Uche Nwofor and defence lynchpin, Ugonna Uzochukwu, as well as former youth international, Christian Pyagbara to his squad, coach Ogunbote have a rich team to select his matchday squad from to help him achieve the expectations of the teeming supporters of the Coal city ‘Flying Antelopes’.

For the host’ whose desires to relocate to another venue for its home games due to what a top officials of the side described as ‘Unfavourable reception and results’ from fans of their adopted home ground of Jos could not see the light of the day, they will have to dig deep into their reservoir of talents to curtail the invading ‘Antelopes’.

Rangers are likely to be without the services of the quartet of Felix Ogbuke, Tayo Fabiyi, James Aiyeyemi and Godwin Zaki who did well in the previous matchday but will hopefully rely on Uche Nwofor, Christian Pygbara, Ugonna Uzochukwu and Chigozie Christopher to wreck the host who are likely to lose their influential shot-stopper, Pius Ibrahim, to another Premiership side.

Wikki will most likely rely on the ferocious attacking prowess of Shammah Tanze, Victor Alegbe, Emmanuel Agwu and Manu Garba to cause the backline of the Enugu side some anxious moments but may likely meet their match in the form of Senegalese tough-tackling defender, Pape Ousmane and veteran skipper of the side, Okechukwu Odita with teenage sensation, Akpos Adubi hoping to make his Premiership debut.

It would be recalled that goals from Godwin Aguda, Christian Madu and Kelvin Itoya condemned to Bauchi side to its ninth loss of the season and increasing their relegation worries as they slide down to the 17th position on the twenty team log with 22 points from nineteen matches while the visitors with the massive win bettered their standing on the log with 28 points from same number of matches after seven wins, seven drawn matches and five losses.

Some notable players that did not make the matchday squad for the ‘Flying Antelopes’ include Ifeanyi George, Nana Bonsu, Semiu Liadi, Ugonna Anyora and Abu Azeez.