Good morning People,
How’s it going?
We play Lobi Stars in Makurdi this evening in the rescheduled Match Day 2 fixture. For us, it’s been a decent start to the season even with that goalless draw with Akwa United two weeks ago. From the games we have seen, we can tell what Kadiri Ikhana wants to do and how he prefers setting up his team.
This fixture last season was one those away games that we lost courtesy of a late penalty. Penalties are one of the easiest means of scoring a goal and if it must be awarded then it ought to be a very obvious one. Of course the indiscipline among a lot of the Nigerian Premier League defenders mean that it is not impossible so see them give away silly penalties when they are under a lot of pressure. We always say, stay on your feet, don’t be quick to lunge in and commit to tackles recklessly. Don’t make it easy for the referee to award a penalty. Don’t even let the ball and the player get in the box with the ball. Stop the attack as safe a distance as possible.
One of the good things about this League season is the improvement in the level of officiating. Teams are no longer going to hide behind shrewd refereeing because there are several independent judges in the pitch to ensure the referee’s decisions and officiating are within the dictates of the game. These include, both teams, the Match Commissioner, the Referees Accessors and the LMC representative at the game. There of course is the rise in the level of security around match venues. Hence it is not surprising that the level of officiating in the league has improved since the start of the new season.
On team news, we have a few absentees today; Andrew Abalogu, Ugwu Uwadiegwu and striker Mfon Udoh did not make the trip for health reasons. Markson Ojobo has a personal issue regarding his family hence we will not also see him today. The duo of Peter Onyekachi and Sokari Kingsley have travelled to join Samson Siasia’s Under-23 side. I already spoke about the endless National team assignments for Sokari such that I won’t talk about it again. Sikiru Kamal is injured but Uluocha did a yow man’s job at the weekend and he should be allowed to continue in that DM role.
Hence our expected line up;
Ejiogu, Aloma, Esieme, Udoji, Anyanwu, Uluocha, Anazemeba, Bassey, Etor, Boumsong, Chinonso Okonkwo.
Let’s keep the momentum going with a good performance this evening. I’m backing us to get the three points in this one. Lobi themselves too would be looking to notch up their first three points of the season after that 1-1 draw with Bayelsa on match day one. So we expect both teams to come out and express themselves.
That’s your lot for today.
Enjoy your day