Enyimba coach Fatai Osho has described his side’s CAF Confederation Cup playoff encounter against Rivers United on Sunday as a ‘celebration of the NPFL’.
Two-time African champions Enyimba host Rivers United in the first leg in Aba on Sunday, before both sides square off in the reverse fixture on 21 February at the Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium in Port Harcourt.
It is the first time two Nigerian teams are meeting at this stage of the competition, and the Enyimba gaffer believes it would be different from their usual clashes in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), as the stakes are higher this time.
“They (the players) want to see it a bit different because the setting is actually different, you are talking of the continent now,” the former Remo Stars coach said.
“What is at stake is quite different from what is obtainable at the level of the NPFL, and we are going to see a situation where both sides will come out. And these players know what it means for their careers to be at the group stage. It’s a platform that they can use to actually express themselves and let people know what they can do. And nobody wants to lose that opportunity.
“I foresee a situation where both sides will be coming out; these players want come for each other and like I have been saying, it will be more of a celebration of the NPFL that we would be looking at on Sunday.”
Aggregate winners of the fixture will advance to the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Enyimba reached the semi-finals and quarter-finals of the competition in 2018 and 2019 respectively, while Rivers United (then Dolphins) lost in the final to Moroccan outfit FAR Rabat in 2005.