It is matchday 7 today in the NPFL. We sit 7th on the table going but our current position can either be improved by getting a result in far away Maiduguri or get worse if we leave the North Eastern town empty handed.
This time last year, one would have written off the game as a sure defeat for the Aba Elephants but in recent times, teams like Akwa United late last season and Kano Pillars this season already have successfully stopped the Bornu Army on home soil but they are yet to beaten in years.
Aigbogun 2.0 will continue to sweat over the fitness of his boys. With fresh cases of injuries from our victory over our little brothers, the light skinned gaffer might have to hand first starts to a couple of some fresher legs. Fatau Dauda is almost the surest name on the team list. We may get to see Ernest Governor perform some good governance in the defence line. Ifeanyi Anaemena might also return to pair Isiaka Oladuntoye with Ben Francis completing the back 4.
I also think that even if Farouk Mohammed’s injury is minor, he deserves some rest and will likely be replaced by Dare Ojo, with Franco Atchou and Chinedu Udeagha completing the midfield trio. Nonso Okonkwo may return from suspension to be flanked on both sides by Stephen Chukwude and the resurgent Stanley Dimgba.
It is actually a good thing to realize that despite the number and quality of players absent from the squad, we still find suitable replacements of almost same qualities if not even more and that should give us (both fans and players) more belief.
With just one defeat this season, it is not and won’t be bad to maintain the tempo. Maiduguri is a very difficult ground, no doubt, but optimism costs nothing but can even get you something better. If we put up similar displays like we did in Port Harcourt and Makurdi, who knows, El-Kanemi might just have to beg us for a point. The truth is, one point from Maiduguri will definitely feel like 3 or even more.
Believe and go for the kill now that Coach Imama Amapakabo is away and maybe we can run away with something good and no new injuries.
Can we? Yes! We can!