Seven time Nigeria champions, Rangers International, will be without their talismanic forward, Godwin Aguda, when they take to the pitch against MFM FC in an NPFL week four match.
Rangers are in Lagos for their first game of the new NPFL season but will have to see off the challenge of their hosts without the service of their in form striker, Aguda.
The forward was conspicuously missing when the Flying Antelopes arrived for their final training session at the Soccer Temple in Agege on Tuesday.
Moments after their training, coach of the Coal City Boys, Gbenga Ogunbote, revealed to www.aclsports.com that the absence of the player was due a decision by the coaching crew to rest him and other players.
“It is not just Aguda, there are others, too” Ogunbote told www.aclsports.com after he was asked about Aguda’s absence in training.
“The team has played a lot of games over a few weeks and if you don’t want to damage the career of the boys, you need to manage them.”
“Some of them have to rest while [others] have to take over,” he added. “[Therefore] that was the main reason why we registered more than 18 players so to see some of them in their first game while some who have played series of games [ in the continent] are rested. So, we need to allow them to rest.”
Aguda has been in superb form in the continent for the Aiteo Cup winners, who sealed their place in the lucrative group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup, CAFCC, after a 4-2 aggregate victory over Bantu FC.
The striker netted in both games against the side from Lesotho, taking his tally in the competition to five goals in just six outings, which makes him joint top scorer in CAF’s second tier club tournament.
Rangers would be hoping to win at the Soccer Temple for the first time after losing one and drawing the other of their previous two games.
The encounter on Wednesday evening will be the sixth meeting between the two teams, with the Flying Antelopes having the better head to head thanks to their two wins compared to MFM’s one in the previous five.
That game is one of 11 scheduled to take place across the country later today and kicks off at 4pm.