By Isma’eel Abba Tangalashi
As the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League kicks off in a matter of hours, four time champions, Kano Pillars FC would welcome Rivers Utd of Port Harcourt in a mouthwatering opening day clash at the famous Sani Abacha Stadium, Kofar Mata, Kano on Sunday 3rd November, 2019.
The Sai Masu Gida would be looking forward to yet another great season by going one step better than their last season 2nd place finished.
The Aiteo/National cup holders are in high spirit ahead of the crunch tie on Sunday and have played a number of preseason warmup matches at Ijebu-Ode, Kano and Kaduna to fine tune the team though, many of those fixtures ended in a disappointing results but would hope to be at their best when the league finally kick offs.
The two sides met at the 2019 Ahlan Preseason tournament in Kano in what turns out to be a rehearsal for the Sunday’s clash with the Port Harcourt based side came out on top with a one nil victory over their host.
On the other hand, Rivers Utd would be hopping for another shocker after beating the Sai Masu Gida one nil in their own turf less than a month in the 3rd edition of Ahlan’s Preseason tournament.
However, the Kano darlings have won 3 of their last 5 Nigeria Professional Football League games losing 1 and drawing the other.
Rivers Utd too have recorded some impressive results winning 3, losing once and drawing 2 of their last six fixtures.
The last time Pillars hosted River Utd in the Nigeria Professional Football League was on 10th of June, 2018 and the results ended in a one all situation.
However, in their previous five meetings in the league, both sides have beating each other twice and the aforementioned dated back to 2018 ended in a one all draw as summarised below;
Sunday 10th June, 2018: Kano Pillars 1-1 Rivers Utd
Sunday 21st January, 2018: Rivers Utd 2-1 Kano Pillars
Thursday 3rd August, 2017: Kano Pillars 2-0 Rivers Utd
Sunday 21st August, 2016: Kano Pillars 1-0 Rivers Utd
Sunday 17th April, 2019: Rivers Utd 1-0 Kano Pillars
Kano Pillars will definitely be without the services of their talisman and captain, Rabiu Ali aka Pele.
In an interview with www.npfl.ng, Ali believes that the club has made the right additions in the squad to compete for the top honour in the 2019/2020 NPFL season.