By Igwe Onuoha –
It is going to be battle royale on Sunday, 1 November, 2015 when Abia Warriors Football club of Umuahia host league leaders,
Enyimba international of Aba in what has been widely described as the “Abia El-Clasico”.
The People’s Elephant will be visiting Umuahia with the intention of breaking the jinx of never defeating their oriental brothers in the Premier League since the capital club made it to the elite class two seasons ago.
In their previous three meetings, Abia Warriors had an edge with a win and two draws.
In their first Premier League season, Abia Warriors, with 1-0 win
became the only team to beat Enyimba in their fortress in Aba, while the second leg encounter ended 3-3 in Umuahia.
Earlier this season at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba, the two sides settled for a 2-2 draw.
But on current form, Enyimba on 65 points lead their neighbours with 15 points and the six-time Nigerian Champions are gunning for their seventh title and do not see the Warriors stopping them.
On 60 and 59 points respectively, Giwa FC of Jos and Warri Wolves are however giving Enyimba a run for their money but luckily, Enyimba’s last home match of the season is against the Seasiders in Aba.
So Enyimba’s league ambition is not actually tied to the Abia Warriors match on Sunday contrary to the widely held view but rather the match against Warri Wolves, where they have their fate in their own hands.
A victory against the Wolves in Aba will see them win the league even with a game to spare against Sunshine Stars in Akure on the last day of the league and irrespective of the result in this weekend’s encounter against the Warriors who have won 14 of their 17 home games this season.
For Giwa FC, a team of the moment that have lost only seven of their 35 games so far, their two away matches against Heartland in Owerri and neighbours Nasarawa United in Lafia could determine their ambition of picking a continental ticket although they are expected to win their only remaining home game against Shooting Stars of Ibadan before their visit to Lafia.
Meanwhile, Abia Warriors Chairman, Chief Emeka Inyama has called on the Enyimba and Abia Warriors officials, players and supporters to maintain a high sense of decorum before, during and after the game on Sunday as government will not be happy with anybody whose conduct could tarnish the image of the state, using the match as a cover to ferment trouble.