Match Preview: FC Ifeanyiubah vs Enyimba 

Good morning all.
Today. It ends today.

We can finally draw the curtain on this season after today’s meeting with FC Ifeanyi Ubah. Interestingly, it may not be the last time we face them this season – they’re also in the Federation Cup semi-finals, just as we are. Many already have it down as a dream final, in fact.

It does throw up an important strategic question. What would be the best way to approach a game like this? Mind, we still have the small matter of Nassarawa United to puzzle over before we can even think of the final. That said, is it better to make a great show of strength now, in the hope of sparking uncertainty in the opposing camp, or would you rather pull your punches and let the opposition underrate you going forward?

That’s a question the coaching crew will need to figure out, in addition to personnel choices. Thankfully, the trio of Uwadiegwu, Anaemena and Obiozor are back fit. It is unlikely we will see the latter today, of course, and Uwadiegwu hasn’t made the trip, so Daniel Etor (good sport that he is) should deputize for the overworked Akas at left-back. It’s just typical, isn’t it? Finally having defensive reinforcements, but only for the last game of the league season, and even then we’re spotting a winger at full-back! 

For the hosts, it’s a good chance to end the season on a high. They didn’t quite manage to make a proper fist of their title challenge, perhaps due to inexperience, but it has been a good season for them, by all accounts. Make what you will of the fact they’re only three points better off than us, even at that.

One feels, if they can continue with their aggressive recruitment, they will be one of the frontrunners for the league next season. Tactics are important in football, but so is having good players; chalkboard arrows and dashes don’t play. This is why finishing strong is vital for them: it provides some kind of pointer toward next season.

Here’s a rather interesting bit of trivia I found. Going back 11 years, there have been no draws between these two teams. Matter of fact, neither team has managed to pick up as much as a point away to the other. Brutal stats.

Not to freak anyone out or anything. Records, after all, exist to be broken. That said, they also exist to show a pattern, and this is one we will hope isn’t perpetuated.

We also need to finish the season strongly, if for nothing else, for the simple fact that we are Enyimba and we deserve better. You see those flourishes gymnasts do at the end of their routines, with their arms splayed wide and their bodies thrust forward? That’s because the final impression counts, almost as much as first impressions do. It’s been a season to forget, so let’s have something to remember at the end.

Heads and attentions will be turned toward the title run-in, but we’ll have this live on TV, so be sure to tune in and send the team good vibes. If you can’t, there should also be updates via the LMC Twitter handle, as well as the official Enyimba handle: @enyimbafc.

Back tomorrow to ruminate over the result.

‘EnyimbaEnyi

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