Still basking in the euphoria of the 2-1 win against neighbours Nasarawa United in the NPFL MatchDay 26 in Makurdi last weekend, Lobi Stars are targetting victory over Katsina United on Sunday, May 8 at the Aper Aku stadium to make full success of the double home fixtures.
The game under review here is a winner takes all as Katsina United who are holding onto the short end of the stick will ultimately surrender their present standing on the table to Lobi Stars, if they can’t withstand the power of the reinvigorated ‘Ortom Boys’ of Makurdi who will triumphantly exit the dreaded drop zone with a win.
At the moment, the ‘Pride of Benue’ are occupying the 17 position on the league table with 29 points from 26 games while visiting Katsina United are 15th on the log with 30 points from 25 concluded games.
This means Lobi Stars will leapfrog the ‘Chanji Boys’ with two points, if they will muster enough courage to grab all three points in the potentially explosive fixture.
Undoubtedly, the infectious winning spirit in the Lobi Stars camp both on and off the field being orchestrated by astute football administrator and former Nigerian international striker, Dominic Iorfa ‘Human Express’ as nick-named by late ace sports commentator, Ernest Okonkwo, is enough guarantee that the coach Mohammed Ganaru tutored boys are poised for victory.
On current form, the two teams are almost on equal standings as katsina United are in Makurdi with three home wins, one home defeat, one away loss and an abandoned week 23 tie at perennial rivals Kano Pillars while Lobi Stars have also recorded three home wins, one draw at home and three losses on the road in their last six matches.
The all-time head-to-head record of the two clubs is tilted in favour of the “Shoe get size” boys as they won three and drew 4 out of the nine games between them.
The last five of the matches between the two rivals still give Lobi Stars the upper hand as they have won twice, drawn twice and lost only once.
Meanwhile, Lobi Stars are improving with every game as Coach Mohammed Baba Ganaru who enjoys occassional technical support from former international, Dominic Iorfa, has been sweating it out with the boys to strengthen the weak links in the team.
The order by the indefatigable VC/CEO of Lobi Stars, Iorfa, for the gates into the Aper Aku stadium to remain open to encourage the teeming fans of the club to come out enmass to cheer their darling team to victory has been applauded by enthusiastic Benue State football fans.
The free-gate initiative will no doubt motivate members of the vociferous supporters club who were recently given a big boost by Mr. Terver Akase, the newly appointed Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Samuel Ioraer Ortom.