Plateau United welcome Rivers United FC to New Jos Stadium in a mouth-watering clash of the Round 18 of Nigerian Professional Football League. Plateau United are leading Rivers United on goal difference with the former boasting a goal difference of 14 while the latter trailing with 7. Both teams are on 29 points, two points behind leaders Lobi Stars.
Plateau United's form has recently dipped as they have won just one match in their last five league matches. Their last league match against MFM FC ended up in a barren draw. Rivers United FC is heading into the match as the favourites based on their current form. Though they drew their last match against Wikki Tourists, Rivers United has lost only one match in their last five league outings.
Rivers United FC has turned around a season that they started sluggishly picking their first win in round 4 of NPFL. The Pride of Rivers are currently third and a victory against Plateau United would push them to second place in the table.
If Rivers United continue with their impressive form, they could win their first Nigerian Professional Football League trophy at the end of the season. A victory against Plateau United would send a statement of intent to other title challengers this season.
Plateau United vs Rivers United FC Head to Head
In the eight meetings between Plateau United and Rivers United FC, they've won three matches apiece while the two remaining matches have ended up in draws. Their encounter this weekend is a tale of two equal sides who have the same points battling for supremacy and to break the tie between the teams.
Plateau United form guide: LDLWD
Rivers United FC form guide: WLWDD
Plateau United vs Rivers United FCTeam News
Plateau United poor away form continue to derail their title-winning chances this season. This was exhibited when they failed to find a win against ninth-placed MFM FC. They dropped to second on the NPFL table with Lobi Stars pipping them to the summit of the table.
Abdi Maikaba and his Plateau United side have to employ a different approach against Rivers United to avoid losing the grip on League leaders, Lobi Stars, who has a comparatively easy fixture against 18th placed Jigawa Golden Stars.
Ibrahim Mustapha, Plateau United's leading goalscorer with 7 goals so far this season, is expected to lead the attack for the home side. Itodo Daniel and Ikefe Andrew are expected to keep their place at the heart of their defence after keeping another clean sheet against MFM FC.
Rivers United FC
River United FC head coach Stanley Eguma was not impressed with his team's performance against struggling Wikki Tourists as they settled for a draw. Despite having one of the best squads in the Nigerian Professional Football League this season, they failed to find the back of the net against a team that has conceded 14 goals.
This was a second consecutive draw for them and they are desperate to return to winning ways when travelling to Jos to meet Plateau United.
Stanley Eguma is expected to ring changes to the team that featured against Wikki Tourists. Their misfiring attackers who failed to score despite creating the most chances in the game are expected to be reshuffled for their crunch tie against title-chasing Plateau United.
Captain Festus Austin is expected to lead his side in their quest for their first NPFL trophy against 2017 Champions.
Plateau United vs Rivers United FC Predicted XI
Plateau United Predicted XI: Chinedu Anozie, Abubakar Ibrahim, Ibrahim Buhari, Ikefe Andrew, Itodo Daniel, Mustapha Ibrahim, Ndala Isah, Nenrot Silas, Ochowechi Oche, Onwuasoanya Uche, Abba Umar.
Rivers United Predicted XI: Akande Abiodun, Godswill Kazie, N'Goan Koman, Lookman Binuyo, Festus Austin, Onyedikachi Bright, Stephen Gopey, Ogbonna Onuoha, Cletus Emotan, Esor Nelson.
Plateau United vs Rivers United FC Prediction
Plateau United has the best attack in the Nigerian Professional Football League this season having scored 26 goals. However, they are going up against a Rivers United side that has conceded just 11 goals this season. It will be a battle of the best attack against the best defence.
Rivers United has been reliant on their solid defence with their attack managing only 18 goals in the 17 League matches this season - a goal scoring ratio of one goal per match. Despite their struggling attack, they've managed to grind victories propelling them to third place in the table.
Both teams are desperate for victories as they're both fighting for the title. It is a game that will be decided by the team that will capitalize on the few opportunities that will arise.
Prediction: Plateau United 1-0 Rivers United FC