The South West derby in the Nigerian Premier League this weekend may have little to offer as far as title aspiration is concerned. But the Saturday encounter of Shooting Stars and Remo Stars at Ibadan has peculiarities which give the match some flavours.
It is a duel of ‘Stars’ as implied in the names of the two clubs. It is also an encounter of two of the three struggling South West teams – the third being Sunshine Stars of Akure.
Both Shooting Stars and Remo Stars wear different shades of blue colour.
Shooting Stars traditionally put on dark blue shirts while their Remo counterparts wear the sky blue that is akin to that of Manchester City in the English Premiership.
Both Shooting Stars and Remo Stars draw shirt sponsorship from the same business line – sports betting. Shooting Stars are backed by Naira Bet while Bet Naija endorses Remo Stars.
The similarity does not end there. Both coaches bear Fatai as first name. Shooting Stars’ coach is former international, Fatai Amoo while Fatai Osho, the coach of Remo Stars was an immediate replacement for Nduka Ugbade.
Beyond that, there is a sort of exchange of players by the two sides. As the media officer of Shooting Stars, Jubril Arowolo, pointed out, a few players from both teams have switched colours from either teams since last season.
Nonso Ogbonna was an integral part of Shooting Stars just last season but he will, this time, be in Ibadan as an opponent, playing against Bode Daniel and Talabi Olumakinde. The former was signed at the beginning of the season while the latter played on loan for the Remo Stars. Both players were instrumental to the team’s promotion slot to the NPFL.
On current forms, they are both in the bottom rung on the ladder with the homers having a slight edge over the visitors. Eight points from eight games, (with Rangers’ outstanding) in 18th position are what the Shooting Stars have on the card against Remo Stars’ seven points in eight games and deep in the bottom!