The excitement of the resumption of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has hit a crescendo, and the Katsina United vs Kwara United tie is one of the matches to watch.
It is a tale of two cities, as both teams are about to clash in what is more than just three points.
It is nice to start the season on a good note, as it will build confidence in the squad as they look forward to a favourable campaign.
The Afonja Warriors had a season to forget last term. They came close to going to relegation again but survived because of results from other matches rather than their efforts.
The Ilorin-based side played all their home matches away from their traditional base.
It was because of the renovation of the playing surface at the Kwara State Stadium.
It robbed them of home support and made the campaign an arduous mission.
A trip to newly promoted Katsina United might not be the kind of tie they would want to start the season with due to logistics, but they will want to give a good account of themselves by coming home with at least a point.
Fans of both sides should expect a thrilling encounter in the Katsina United vs Kwara United tie.
Katsina United vs Kwara United – both teams are battle-ready
Both teams have had a decent preseason campaign and would look to disunite the other to claim an edge.
Kwara United played in the ValueJet preseason tournament (where Dele Aiyenugba clashed with his son Daniel – Beyond Limits) and several other friendlies that took them to Benin Republic.
In their last friendly encounter, the Harmony Boys lost to Sunshine Stars 1-2 as they continued preparation for the upcoming season.
Katsina United have also left no stone unturned in ensuring they do not return to the NNL.
— Katsina United (@katsinaunited) September 15, 2023
They lost to Niger Tornadoes 0-1, Kano Pillars 1-2, and played a 1-1 draw with Gombe United.
In their last preseason friendly, Katsina United beat Jigawa Golden Stars 3-0.
Both sides have had mixed results in their preseason campaign but are battle-ready for the upcoming campaign.
So, who will pick the maximum points in the Katsina United vs Kwara United tie?
Will it be the Changi Boys or the Afonja Warriors?
Hamisu Saidu, Adamu Tukur, Ubong Willian, Usman Barau, Lawrence Edward, Yeo Chacool, Abdullahi Yunusa, Abubakar Isyaku, Anas Hassan, Moses Effiong
Sulaiman Soliu, Kabir Balogun, Kabir Mohammed, Okoro Victor, Yisa Anifowoshe, Ejeh Isaiah, Ovoke Bernard, Mohammed Bajibir, Aynarinde Samuel, Thankgod Ikeagu, Paul Samson
Both sides to score
Despite losing three of their last five matches in the NPFL last season, Kwara United have had a makeover in the squad and administration.
With Kumbi Titiloye heading the affairs of Kwara United as executive chairman, much is expected from the team.
Kwara United have not shown enough to prove they can get the maximum points in this game, but expect both sides to score.
Over 2.5 goals to be scored
Both teams have shown they can score at least one goal per game. Katsina United also play enterprising football, which should make for an exciting encounter.
There has not been a 0-0 scoreline or a draw in the last six encounters between these two sides.
It may be the first draw between Katsina United and Kwara United
The preseason encounter by both sides has been anything but inspiring, and both sides may settle for a share of the spoils.
It may not have happened, but a point will be good for Kwara United, but not so much for the home side.
The last time these two sides met was in 2021. Kwara United won in Ilorin 2-0, while Katsina United won their home tie 1-0.
Katsina United went on relegation that season.
In the 2020/21 season, Kwara United beat the Changi Boys in Katsina 1-2 and won at home by the same scoreline.
In recent meetings, Kwara United has held the edge over Katsina United. They also won 2-0 in the truncated 2019/2020 season.
The records show that the Katsina United vs Kwara United tie should be exciting.
Where to watch
The Mohammed Dikko Stadium is one of the venues where the Propel Sports AI camera has been tested and installed.
Fans can watch the Katsina United vs Kwara United game on the NPFL Live app.
Katsina United vs Kwara United
Date: Saturday, September 30 2023
Venue: Mohammed Dikko Stadium, Katsina
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago