The NPFL enters week three with Enyimba vs Akwa United as the star match of the weekend. The two sides find themselves at the wrong end of the log and in unfamiliar territory.
Enyimba are fresh out of the CAF Champions League, and in their first NPFL game, they lost 2-0 away to Gombe United.
The People's Elephant have an arduous task as they take on Akwa United, yet to win any game after two matches.
In the opening weekend of the NPFL, the Promise Keepers played a pulsating game at the Samson Siasia Stadium, where they lost 5-3 to their hosts Bayelsa United.
With this in mind, Enyimba vs Akwa United should serve another thriller in Aba. Enyimba has a bruised ego following a disastrous start to the season.
Enyimba vs Akwa United possible lineups
With Olorunleke Ojo off on international duties with the Super Eagles, coach Yemi ‘Yema’ Olanrewaju will stick with his 36-year-old Togolese goalkeeper Sabirou Bassa-Djeri.
The Togolese shot-stopper did not cover himself in glory against Gombe United, where he conceded two goals.
Olanrewaju takes charge while Finidi George is with the Super Eagles for the international break.
Perhaps Chijioke Mbaoma will get a look-in against Akwa United.
Following the 5-3 loss to Bayelsa United, coach Fatai Osho rejigged his squad, with Rilwan Sadiq, Osoba Kabir and Anthony Chukwuebuka making the cut.
Osho is likely to retain his squad from week 2.
Sabirou Bassa-Djeri, Bilal Yakubu, Chigozie Chilekwu, Daniel Daga, Somari Alalibo, Innocent Gabriel, Happy Ekwutoziam, Ekene Awazie, Adiele Erugo, Joseph Atule, Ikenna Cooper
Badmus Nurudeen, Samuel Ganda, David Phillip, Ubong Essien, Anthony Chukwuebuka, Wisdom Ndon, Mubarak Said, Oguntayo Seyi, Hadi Muhammed, Rilwan Sadiq, Osoba Kabir
Enyimba vs Akwa United predictions
Both sides to score
With the predominant scoreline in the Enyimba vs Akwa United tie 1-1, it would not be surprising to see a repeat performance.
Enyimba are not at their imperial best and have always found Akwa United problematic.
Aside from the three goals they scored in the 4-3 loss to Al Ahli Benghazi in the CAF Champions League, Enyimba has struggled for goals. They have not scored any goals since that tie.
A possible draw
Like last season, the first tie between these two sides was in Aba. Enyimba will look to correct the ills of last season, where they drew 0-0.
The People's Elephant are low on confidence, while Akwa United will hope to secure a vital point on the road.
Fatai Osho is no stranger to the Aba warlords, as he coached the team in 2021.
He has the guile to frustrate Enyimba and would want to bring his knowledge of the side to bear.
Enyimba has drawn two of their last three home games to Akwa United. Another draw is a massive possibility.
Under 2.5 odds
Enyimba vs Akwa United is one tie that does not produce many goals. There is a silent rivalry between Enyimba and Akwa United, which gives each encounter a competitive colouration.
The last time these two sides produced over 2.5 odds was in November 2019, with Enyimba winning 3-1.
It is unlikely to get a high-scoring game in the Enyimba vs Akwa United tie, as both teams will look to keep it tidy at the back.
When these two sides clash, the predominant scoreline is 1-0.
Our pre-match warm-up ahead of NPFL Matchday 3 against Enyimba International on Sunday in Aba. pic.twitter.com/iIcDN0XWTd
— Akwa United FC (@AkwaUnited_fc) October 14, 2023
Enyimba vs Akwa United head-to-head
In the last eight NPFL meetings between these two sides, Enyimba has won three times, drew thrice and lost twice. Curiously, Enyimba has not lost at home to Akwa United.
In their last two matches, Akwa United drew 0-0 to Sporting Lagos and lost 5-3 to Bayelsa United. Enyimba lost two of their last three competitive games and one draw.
The People's Elephant lost 4-3 to Aso Chlef and drew at home before losing their first league game 2-0 to Gombe United.
It is not the kind of form both sides wish to go into this game with.
While coaching Rivers United, Fatai Osho clashed with Enyimba three times, winning two and losing the other.
Enyimba vs Akwa United Head-to-Head
|Premier League||2023/04/02||Akwa United||1 – 0||Enyimba|
|Premier League||2023/01/18||Enyimba||0 – 0||Akwa United|
|Premier League||2022/05/08||Akwa United||1 – 1||Enyimba|
|Premier League||2022/01/26||Enyimba||1 – 0||Akwa United|
|Premier League||2021/07/11||Akwa United||1 – 0||Enyimba|
|Premier League||2021/02/24||Enyimba||1 – 1||Akwa United|
|Premier League||2019/11/17||Enyimba||3 – 1||Akwa United|
|Premier League||2019/06/12||Enyimba||3 – 0||Akwa United|
🎙️“I understand that the fans have high expectations, but we have players that can deliver.”
— Enyimba FC (@EnyimbaFC) October 6, 2023
Where to watch Enyimba vs Akwa United
Aba is one of the centres where Propel Sports has its AI cameras installed. It means you get to enjoy the match on the app.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago