The reigning Nigeria League Champions, Enyimba International, are set to begin their quest for a third CAF Champions League title this season as they jetted out of the country on Tuesday aboard an Ethiopian Airline to Kampala ahead of Friday’s clash against Vipers FC.
The Aba Elephants will be hoping for a bright start as they open their campaign in CAF’s biggest club competition on Friday at the Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium, Kampala (UGA).
“We have boarded our flight to Uganda to face Vipers SC in the CAF Champions League preliminary round, first leg fixture. It’s victory or nothing for us” a tweet from the official twitter handle of Enyimba read.
A tough match is indeed expected when the Nigerian champions and their Ugandan counterparts go head-on.
Desperate to have a better show on the continent this term, Vipers FC, who are perennial champions in Uganda just last week hired George ‘Best’ Nsimbe as their new head coach, replacing Edward Golola, who guided the team to last year’s league title.
The former Cranes player brings a wealth of experience to Vipers having previously won league titles with KCCA in 2008, 2013 and 2014 as well as the Uganda Cup with Victors in 2010.
Enyimba on their part have a new handler in Paul Aigbogun and have also acquired the services of several top players to bolster their squad for the task ahead.
The team finished runners-up in the just concluded Super Four tourney in Uyo.
Some of the new acquisitions by Enyimba in the course of the transfer window include Christian Pyagbara from Fame FC, Theophilus Afelokhai (Kano Pillars) and the duo of Ikechukwu Ibenegbu and Abu Azeez from Warri Wolves.
In chat with PREMIUM TIMES, Enyimba Captain, Chinedu Udoji, assured that he and his teammates would work hard in order not to disappoint their teeming fans and the country.
“I will not say we are under pressure, but I know there is so much expectation on us to do well so we must work hard so we don’t disappoint our fans again this year,” he said.
Enyimba and indeed Nigerian teams have failed to make it to the money-spinning group stage of the Champions League in recent times.
While some argue that the performance of the clubs is a reflection of the League system in Nigeria, some lay the blame on the individual clubs for not doing enough as expected of them.
In the other CAF Champions League preliminary round match, second Nigeria representatives, Warri Wolves, will host Club Praia of Sao Tome & Principe on Sunday in Warri.
The Sao Tome club are expected in Nigeria on Thursday.