Rivers United will host Bendel in their third championship round match on Friday at 13:00 GMT.
Second-placed Rivers United will look to extend their unbeaten start to the championship round as they bid to put pressure on leaders Enyimba. They will also look to bounce back from Monday’s disappointing 2-2 draw against Remo Stars.
Bendel are still looking for their first win of the championship round. Their opening two draws have seen them drop four points, which does not augur well with their stated aim of fighting for the title. They will look to bounce back to winning ways on Friday when they face Rivers United.
Rivers United Consistency Problem
Rivers opened their championship round with an away win against Sunshine Stars. However, they followed that result with a thrilling 2-2 draw against Remo Stars on Monday.
The thrilling encounter against Remo included two goals scored past regulation time. While Remo took the lead in the 93rd minute, Rivers equalized at the death in the 96th minute.
While this result, which saw Rivers salvage a point, highlighted their fighting spirit and strong mentality to handle pressure, it also underscored their inconsistency.
Rivers must ensure they have the mentality and performance levels they need to be consistent in their results heading into the clash with Bendel on Friday. The core focus will be their solidity at the back and their capacity to keep clean sheets.
The fact that they conceded two goals against Remo also highlights another area that Rivers need to improve before facing Bendel on Friday – their defensive set-up or structure.Bet here
Bendel’s Winless Start to the Championship Round
Bendel are winless in their opening two championship round matches. Their opening clash ended in a barren stalemate (0-0) against Lobi Stars. Their second clash on Monday ended in a 1-1 draw with Sunshine Stars.
They collected two points and dropped four in their opening two matches. Bendel are already playing catch-up in the championship race. Therefore, they need to start winning soon to bolster their ability to affect the destination of the NPFL title.
Bendel must make improvements in their attacking play to enhance their results. Their performances against Lobi Stars and Sunshine Stars demonstrated their struggles in front of goal. They must bolster the dynamism and the approach to attacking, creating chances and breaking down defensive blocs.
Rivers United manager Stanley Eguma will have access to the full complement of his matchday squad. This will be crucial for Rivers as they try to get the win they need to challenge at the top of the table.
Monday Odigie, the Bendel coach, will be happy with the availability of his squad ahead of the clash against Rivers United on Friday. The medical team at Bendel has not announced any injury worries for the team, which is a boost as they search for their first win.
A. Akande; E. G. Duru, T. Emekayi, N. Ndasi, E. K. Godswill; F. Williams, Y. Omotayo, C. Madu, J. Onoja; C. L. Ekeocha, N. Akpesiri; I. Francis
Horlah Oladeji; J. Emiloju-Junior, J. Williams, S. Anyawu, E. Akobundu; D. Johnson, H. Abdullahu, S. Sodje; M. Ojodomo, M. E. Ikpe; I. Osarenkhoe
Rivers United will look to dominate the match with possession and set the tempo of the match.
Bendel will focus on being compact in their approach. They will attack mainly through transitions and look to leverage set pieces.
Rivers United will win the match and bolster their chances of challenging at the top of the table.
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