Following a run of seven unbeaten matches including the 2-1 win in Okigwe, highflyers Akwa United will be aiming to do the double over their visitors Heartland FC on matchday 12 of the Nigeria Professional Football League on Sunday at the Nest of champions.
The Promise Keepers with 19 points from 11 games are 2nd on the NPFL Group B log. They could move top of the log if they beat Heartland for a second time in eight days on Sunday in Uyo.
Akwa United – the highest scoring side in the league (scored 17 goals and conceded 10), have won four of their last six matches against Heartland and they will be seeking to continue that dominance over the Naze Millionaires.
Top scorer Mfon Udoh who has eight goals in 11 first round matches, has found the back of the net in each of the last six league games. He is certain to lead the Promise Keeper’s attack but strike partner Ndifreke Effiong will not be in action following his invitation to the senior national team’s camp for AFCON qualifiers and an international friendly against Egypt.
Speaking ahead of the game, Coach Rafael Everton revealed that the team will miss Ndifreke Effiong for the game but however maintained that he has capable replacements going in to the match.
“Ndifreke is our second highest scorer with five goals and some assists, we would love to have him in every match because of what he offers but there is nothing we can do about his invitation to the national team, so, we wish him well.
“Concerning the match against Heartland, we have other players who are hungry to play and situations like this will provide them with such opportunity to prove themselves. We have forward players like; Paul Obata, Wisdom Fernando, Ocheme Edoh and Daniel Ekpo. This is an opportunity for them to do their best for the team.
“It’s going to be a tough match but we are mentally and physically ready for it, and with the support of our fans, we are confident that we will get the job done “.
The fixture will once again see two foreign coaches in the league: Rafael Everton of Akwa United and Coach Mehmet Tayfun of Heartland FC square up against each other in the struggle for three points in Uyo.