Having made a full success of the double home games with an identical 2-1 scoreline over Nasarawa United and Katsina United in the NPFL MatchDay 26 and 27 fixtures respectively, Lobi Stars will play at the 25,500 capacity Enyimba International Stadium in Aba.
The club is in search of their first victory of the season on the road against the former African champions in the NPFL MatchDay 28 fixture to be played on Saturday, May 14.
Lobi Stars are going into the match with the motivation of not dropping a point in two successive weeks for the first time since the beginning of the 2021/2022 season leading to improved statistics and performance index.
Consequently, the ‘Pride of Benue’ who have since regained their lost confidence following the return of their charismatic Vice-Chairman/CEO, Mr Dominic Iorfa, are poised to challenge the ‘People’s elephants’ of Aba for the three points at stake.
Lobi Stars are currently in the 15th position after 27 matches with 32 points while Enyimba are placed 7th with 39 points from 27 games.
From available statistics, Lobi Stars will have to step up their first-half performance in the match under review as they have led only three times, recorded 13 draws and fallen behind 11 times, scoring five goals and conceding 17 times in the first half in the 27 matches played so far.
The above statistics are a clear indication that the struggles of Lobi Star this season are caused by underwhelming first-half performances both at home and on the road.
However, on current form, Lobi Stars have fared better than Enyimba, having won three and lost two out of the last five games for a remarkable nine points out of 15, while Enyimba Int’l managed to win two, drew two and lost one in the same number of matches to earn eight points out of a possible15 points.
It is, therefore, evident that based on current form, Enyimba will be facing tricky guests in Lobi Stars this weekend and must be ready to suffer to get a decent result.
On head to head, ‘The Shoe get size’ boys engaged the ‘People’s Elephants’ on 29 occasions, winning seven times, losing eleven with eleven draws in between.
But in their five most recent confrontations, Lobi Stars won one, drew two and lost two, while the former back-to-back CAF Champions League winners recorded two victories, two draws and a loss.
Therefore, the recent overall performance index of the ‘Ortom Boys’ has shown a remarkable improvement which should be enough motivation for them to successfully execute the uphill task in Aba.
The Technical Adviser of Lobi Stars, Mohammed BabaGanaru, knows his boys have a mountain to climb.
“We are up against the most successful team in Nigeria and one of the best club sides in Africa but we are not talking history at this moment.
“We respect our opponents but such respect won’t extend to the field of play. We will give them a run for their money because our Vice-Chairman and CEO, Dominic Iorfa, has ensured that we are adequately motivated for the task at hand,” said the former Kano Pillars gaffer.
BabaGanaru’s optimism is not unfounded but Lobi Stars must deliver on the road to be catapulted to a position of undisputed safety and Aba looks very much like the launch pad.