Coming from a hard-fought 1-1 draw in the oldest club rivalry encounter, midweek, in Ibadan against 3SC, the ‘Flying Antelopes’, Rangers International F.C is set to ambush visiting ‘Savannah Scorpions’, Gombe United F.C and neutralize its sting in a matchday 17, NPFL 2021/2022 fixture.
The encounter which is re-scheduled for Saturday, March 5, 2022, will happen at the F.C Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium, Ozubulu Road, Nnewi with kickoff fixed for 16.00 hours.
With only two points and four spots separating both sides on the twenty team log, as Rangers occupy the 5th spot with 25 points and Gombe United placed 9th with 23 points, soccer fans are assured of quality football on display from both sides as envisaged by Rangers’ gaffer, coach Abdul Maikaba after his wards training session, Friday, “Gombe United is a team with character and we respect them but our target in this match remains the three points at stake.
We appreciate the fact that we have lost vital points at our adopted home ground in the past but we have put that experience behind us and focused on doing the needful to annex all points at stake in this fixture.”
The vastly traveled and experienced tactician further said, “We have dropped to the level we know is not good for our ambitions this season so, we need to get our strategies right in this encounter and get our set target back on track. Yes, I appreciate the fact that we have some injury worries in the team but we have capable replacements for this match.”
Going into this encounter, Rangers’ form read thus; D, D, L, W, W, D while the visitors’ form is; W, L, D, W, W, D just as results from encounters between both sides that amounts to 16 matches, Rangers have emerged victorious in seven of them while five victories went to Gombe United as four ended in draws and the last two fixtures were in the 2017 season with Rangers smiling away with a 2-1 win on May 21, 2017, and 3-3 draw on May 10, 2017, in Gombe.
For the personnel needed to do the business on the pitch, both sides are blessed with the visitors, led by coach Aliyu Zubairu, hoping to parade three former ‘Antelopes’ in Itodo Akor and Chidera Ezeh, Musa Najere as well as red hot Abba Maigari, Kelechi Chimezie, Sani Shehu, Sani Suleiman, Ibrahim Yahaya while coach Maikaba will be relying on the trusted forward line of Christian Nnaji, Emeka Obiora, Elijah Ani, and Eboko Ikechukwu to deliver the goods with proper services from Kenechukwu Agu, Chidiebere Nwobodo and Benin International, Charles Tiesso while the backline led by Tope Olusesi is expected to provide enough coverage for Ghanaian shot-stopper, Seidu Mutawakilu.