Nigeria’s remaining representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup, Rivers United, will take on Club Africain of Tunisia at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt on Sunday.
Rivers United have remained invincible on home turf this season in continental action, despite their well-documented struggles in the domestic league.
To date, coach Stanley Eguma’s team have won all previous five home games played in both CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, scoring 12 goals and conceding just the solitary goal in the last game against KCCA of Uganda.
The Pride of Rivers will aim to make it a sixth successive home win, and a third in the group phase of the competition, when they take on second-place Club Africain.
Ahead of the game, however, Rivers United are suffering from major injury casualties and suspensions, although several players will expectedly be making a return from the treatment table.
Experienced central defensive pair Festus Austine and Gabriel Olalekan will face a late fitness to check their availability for the game, while forward Emeka Ogbuh, who missed a penalty in the reverse loss in Tunisia, is almost certainly ruled out.
In the event both defenders fail to recover, Eguma might have to turn to Togolese international defender Joseph Douhadji and Ayobami Asekunowo as a makeshift defensive partnership, the former netting an own goal in the 3-1 loss in Tunisia.
Defensive midfielder Emeka Atuloma is suspended which might mean a return to the starting line-up for surprise outcast Nzube Anaezemba.
An experienced goalkeeper who has played a blinder to date in the competition, Sunday Rotimi, who was injured against KCCA in Uganda, might make a return in between the sticks as he appears to have made a full recovery.
With an away trip to Rabat to come in the final group game of the campaign, Rivers can ill afford to slip up so close to the conclusion of the group stage, but can their strong home form continue against the Tunisian heavyweights on Sunday?