Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title chasers, Akwa United have been boosted by the arrival of their national team contingent ahead of Sunday’s Match Day 33 clash with Sunshine Stars in Ijebu-Ode.
Abdu Maikaba’s side have been depleted in recent weeks as the exigencies of a possible title challenge take its toll on the team. Injuries, suspensions and the departures to Europe at a critical period has left the team in short of numbers as they pursue their ambitions.
Club chairman Paul Bassey complained about the situation after the team’s 0-1 loss at El-Kanemi last weekend, a game they were without several of their first team members.
The Promise Keepers will however be able to call on their invaluable quartet: Alhassan Ibrahim, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Afeez Aremu and Emmanuel Ariwachukwu who flew in to Lagos from the Super Eagles camp base in Kano on Friday night. The quartet featured in the Eagles’ test game against Kano Pillars’ development side on Friday morning and are expected to give their side an extra edge in Sunday’s contest.
United are still without centre back Godspower Igudia (bereaved), left back Kodjovi Dadzie (illness), striker Christian Pyagbara who is still in Europe for trials while Moses Ebiye has already completed his switch to Norwegian side Lillestrom.
Their hosts, Sunshine Stars completed the signing of their former goalkeeper Emmanuel Fabiyi during the week and the Benin Republic goalkeeper is expected to provide some cover for in-form goalkeeper Henry Ayodele with six matches left to play in the league.
Akwa United, playing their third away game in succession are third on the league log with 51 points, four adrift of second placed MFM while Sunshine Stars, though placed 12th on the log with 42 points are just two clear of the drop zone.