NPFL: Rangers ready to rattle Heartland for maximum points at stake – Maikaba

Technical Adviser to Rangers International F.C of Enugu, Coach Abdul Maikaba has assured the club’s numerous supporters that his team has prepared adequately to annex the maximum points at stake in the matchday 27, NPFL 2021/2022 NPFL fixture against fierce neighbors, Heartland F.C of Owerri in an ‘Oriental Derby’ scheduled for the Awka City stadium on Saturday.

The vastly experienced gaffer who led Akwa United to an Aiteo Cup triumph a few years back stated that the encounter will be a difficult one going by the fact that the Owerri side will be coming with revenge on their minds but he was sure that his wards will raise their game and come up with a victorious performance.

Maikaba said, going into the fixture, “This is the second leg, every game is different and comes with its antics and atmosphere. Yes, we got the result we prepared for in Owerri but the battle is not over.”

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He further stated, “I believe we have prepared well for this match because we know that the game will be difficult. The game is a derby and the visitors will come all out especially considering that they lost to us at home in Owerri.”

Also speaking on the most exciting ‘Oriental Derby’ in the land, captain of the side, Tope Olusesi, said, “Any game between Rangers and Heartland is always end-to-end stuff either in Owerri or Enugu and this will not be an exception. We are well motivated, physically, psychologically, and determined to earn all the points at stake to enhance our chances in the league as we enter the later stages of the competition. The game will be difficult but we shall come out victorious by God’s special grace.”

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The matchday 27 fixture will be the 11th time both teams will be clashing in the NPFL since the 2015/2016 season with the ‘Flying Antelopes’ smiling away with victories in six encounters as against three wins for the ‘Naze Millionaires’ while one game ended in a draw as their last fixture in Owerri on January 21, 2022, ending in a massive 3-0 bashing for the Enugu side.

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The only time Heartland earned a point on the road against their ‘Senior Brother’ remains the 0-0 draw at ‘The Cathedral’, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu in the championship-winning season on May 20, 2016.

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Both teams go into this feisty fixture almost on the same level of performance in their last six matches, annexing eight points from available eighteen as Rangers’ form reads thus; D, W, L, D, L, W and occupy the 4th spot on the log with 42 points from 26 matches while the visiting Owerri warlords, Heartland has W, D, W, L, D, L on their scoresheet and occupy the 18th spot on the log with 28 points from 26 matches.

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