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2023/2024 NPFL Match Day 10: Heartland FC of Owerri eager to consolidate domination over Enyimba Int'l FC in Oriental derby

Posted : 24 November 2023

Heartland FC will enter Saturday's Nigeria Premier Football League Match Day 10 tie against Enyimba in another thrilling Oriental derby with the determination to end their winless streak since the season's start.

Notable changes to Heartland FC's technical crew and management were recently made to rectify their poor season start. The appointment of Kennedy Boboye, a two-time league champion with Plateau United (2017) and Akwa United (2021), as Technical Adviser has been a focal point in media and fan discussions.

Boboye replaced former coach Christian Obi, under whose tenure the team failed to secure a win in the opening nine games. Despite an unbeaten run in the Nigeria National League (NNL) last season, the transition to the topflight proved challenging.

The club also reshuffled its coaching staff, with Charles Uzor taking over as chief coach, Chidi Ike promoted from the Heartland FC feeder team to the main technical crew, and Osuorji Linus Maduabuchi becoming the acting Team Manager in place of Victor Ezuruike.

Heartland FC has a historical advantage in this fixture, winning nine out of the 25 previous encounters, with Enyimba winning seven times and nine matches ending in draws. The Owerri side is currently on a 10-game unbeaten streak against the People's Elephant in the league, with the last defeat occurring eight years ago.

Although Enyimba seems to hold the advantage in current form, previous matches have demonstrated that form plays only a limited role in this fixture. The newly appointed coach, Kennedy Boboye, emphasized the importance of winning the derby to lift the team out of the relegation zone and called on fans to support their quest for victory.

Enyimba, the reigning league champions, faced challenges in their title defense, losing most of their away games. Heartland FC will rely on players like Chisom Chiaha, Andrew Abalogu, Nnaemeka Anyanwu, Fabian Omaka, Ezekiel Bassey, Austin Osayande, and Frank Erikan. Meanwhile, Enyimba has key players such as Daniel Daga, Erugo Adiele, Ini Edem, Chijioke Mbaoma, Pascal Eze, Somairi Alalibo, and Uwanna Asuquo.

Recent Head-to-Head Matches:

26-6-2022: Enyimba 0-0 Heartland
26-2-22: Heartland 1-0 Enyimba
30-5-2021: Enyimba 0-0 Heartland
13-1-2021: Heartland 2-0 Enyimba
15-1-2020: Enyimba 0-2 Heartland
Prediction: Unlikely results.


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