Katsina United and Kano Pillars will reignite their local rivalry when both teams clash today for the second time this season after Pillars won the reverse tie 1-0.
This epic Northern Derby will be the NPFL match of the week as the build-up to it has been busy.
The ancient city of Katsina, which is about one and a half hour drive from Kano, has been the popular destination for Kano Pillars supporters, who have been trooping into the town since Tuesday evening so as to be part of this historical contest.
‘The Chanji Boys’, who failed to salvage their poor run of form away from home when they faced Shooting Stars last Sunday, still maintain 12th position on the league table with 38 points from 29 games, while Pillars defeated Enugu Rangers 2 – 0 to move to 10th position on the table with 41 points.
Katsina United, who are yet to taste defeat at home thus far this season, will be looking forward to consolidate their good run of form at home with a famous win today.
Pillars will be banking for a result after they turned away champions Rangers on Sunday.
Katsina United have been boosted with the return of their leading scorer Chinedu Udechukwu with six goals and fellow striker Suleman ‘Ronaldo’ Musa after they both missed the team’s last game at 3SC due to injury.
Timothy Danladi of Katsina United has expressed confidence his team will avenge the narrow loss at Pillars in the first round.
“We are ready for them. We are in a very good shape. The spirit is high and the tempo of our players is very high,” said the hard-tackling central defender.
“Pillars managed to beat us 1-0 and it’s now our time to pay them back.
“This match is one of the biggest local derbies in NPFL because of the passion and love the fans of both teams have for football.”
The reverse of this encounter was played in February at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano with Chinedu Udoji’s header in the second half the difference between the two teams.
A win for Katsina United in this game will take them to 10th position and enhance their chance of ending the season on a high, while a win for Pillars will keep their hopes of picking a continental slot alive.
It’s going to be experience versus young blood as Katsina United mercurial midfielder Ashadi Destiny will battle it out against Rabiu Ali, one of the most experienced players in the league.
These two teams have not met in any competitive game in the last 10 years.
They met in February in the first round of the on-going NPFL. A powerful header by Chinedu Udoji gave the hosts the winner in that fascinating encounter that saw a full house at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.
Katsina United are enjoying a very good run of form at home as they have been able to pick 36 points out of the possible 42 points at home.
Kano Pillars, on the other hand, have not been impressive on the road having only picked four points out of possible 42 points on the road.
Katsina United home run of form in the last five games
Kano Pillars away run of form in the last five games
Katsina United run of form in the last five games
Kano Pillars run of form in the last five league games
Katsina United are 12th position on the league table with 38 points picked from 29 games, while Kano Pillars occupy 10 position with 41 points picked from 29 games.
Players to Watch
Katsina United – Ashadi Destiny
Kano Pillars – Rabiu Ali
Venue – Muhammadu Dikko Stadium in Katsina
Capacity – 35, 000
Date – Wednesday July 19th, 2017
Time – 4pm