NPFL: Rangers seek to consolidate on leadership

Nnewi in Anambara State will be the epic center of a massive football earthquake when league leaders, Rangers International go away from home to play the NPFL's billionaire club F.C Ifeanyi Ubah in a thrilling Oriental derby at the Gabros International Stadium.

NPFL: Rangers seek to consolidate on leadership
Rangers FC players celebrate a goal during a previously played NPFL game I Goal

Enugu Rangers are on the cusp of winning a league title after 32 years following a courageous campaign where they have battled hard to lead the chasing pack for a considerable period of time.

While approaching the second stanza of the league, one of the most crucial questions on the minds of critics concerning the Enugu outfit was whether they could sustain their title challenge going by the fact that whenever they seem to be on the verge of challenging for the title, such challenges often become unsuccessful for various reasons.

This season has not been an exception, as the club has had to cope with problems of non-payment of player’s salaries, managerial distractions for Imama Amapakabo who has had to shuffle between managing the clubside and the Nigerian Senior national team as an Assistant Coach in July.

Plus, the selection of Rangers players for the NPFL all stars Ramon de Carranza tourney in Spain. Notwithstanding, the Flying Antelopes have been able to surmount these hurdles and will be looking to gain an upper hand over their South-east neighbours in one of the Week 31 fixtures.

F.C Ifeanyi Ubah have not had the season they would have preferred, albeit they have trudged on. This is evident from their previous seven games unbeaten run which was ended by Plateau United on match day 30.

By virtue of their performance thus far, they occupy the10th position of the league standings. Being separated by 8 points from the table toppers, Rangers International, a CAF Confederations cup ticket is still up for grabs for the Billionaire club.

Rangers International play at a fast-tempo with an attacking-minded high-pressing brand of football. Besides, being managed by a coach that likes to see his side hug possession to themselves they are fiery side to play whether at home or away as witnessed by many sides in the leagues who have faced them.

Mitko Dobrev, who is currently in his second stint with the Anambara Warriors favours tactical discipline over every other aspect of play and will look to motivate his tutored side to rise up from last week's defeat at the Rwang Pam Stadium to Plateau Utd to get something for themselves against a Rangers-side that has picked up points in away games against Akwa Utd, title challenger's Wikki Tourists and defending champions, Enyimba F.C.

Star players of F.C. Ifeanyi Ubah such as Tamen Medrano, Ismaila Gata, and Okereke Maduabuchi, the Anambara Warriors look destined to secure an important advantage of their opponents.

However, some of the many reasons why the Antelopes have been high-flying is because of the doggedness of players like Godwin Aguda, Chisom Egbuchulam, Obinna Nwobodo and the likes.

F.C Ifeanyi Ubah will seek to take maximum benefit from their home-field advantage but you can never bet against the glorious pride of Enugu.

Rangers International won the reverse fixture by a solitary goal in a highly entertaining 90 minutes and this one will be a thriller for all as the countdown to who wins the Nigerian Professional Football League for the 2015/2016 season continues with 8 games to go.