The often-frolic oriented derby between Enugu Rangers and Aba People Elephants, Enyimba, will go down today, December 26, 2021, in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) at the F.C Ifeanyiubah Stadium, Nnewi.
With fifteen domestic league titles between both teams and a measure of dominance on the continental scene, expectations are understandably high for an explosive clash that will literally set the industrial and commercial city of Nnewi on fire on ‘Boxing Day’.
It is Matchday2 tie of NPFL 2021/22 season and all the fanfare associated with previous derbies will be present as the ‘Flying Antelopes’ seek to maintain their winning start to the new season following a 2-1 win over Katsina United at Muhammadu Dikko Stadium in Katsina on matchday1.
The fixture will see both sides coming to the table with all in their arsenal to annex the maximum point at stake with Coach Finidi George of Enyimba bringing his youthful coaching skills to challenge a veteran of many soccer battles with various clubs, Coach Abdul Maikaba for bragging rights.
Every encounter involving both teams either in Enugu, Aba or any other venue has always been an end-to-end stuff just as witnessed last season when the ‘Flying Antelopes’ defeated the ‘Peoples Elephant’ 2-0 in a delayed match day 19 fixture while in the reverse fixture in Aba, it ended 2-1 in favor of the host.
The clash will also see Coach Abdul Maikaba leading his wards against his former employers, Enyimba, and he is confident of a good outing.
“With the response of my players to the drills we have for them, I am confident of coming out of the match with our heads held high,” Maikaba declared. “There is nothing personal about the match as we are going into the game as a team with a collective target which is to pick the three points at stake. “Enyimba is a good side anytime but with the caliber of players in our team coupled with the confidence and determination shown in training, we shall emerge winners in this ‘Oriental Derby’.”
With the change in coaching personnel by both teams and arrival of some new faces to the camps of the teams, fans are assured of entertaining football on a ‘Boxing Day’.
Other interesting clashes that will go down this Sunday in the Nigeria Professional Football League are Remo Stars Vs Heartland, Kano Pillars Vs Lobi Stars, Shooting Stars Vs Akwa United, Rivers United Vs Katsina United, Abia Warriors Vs Sunshine Stars, Wikki Tourists Vs Niger Tornadoes, Plateau United Vs Kwara United, Nasarawa United Vs Gombe United and Dakkada FC Vs MFM.