Lineups, stats & 3 players to watch

Two sides with continental trophy ambition will meet this weekend when Rivers United vs USM Alger face-off in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals on Sunday afternoon.

The highly anticipated clash is scheduled to take place at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo (2pm kick-off), and it is a must-win for the Pride of Rivers.

The hosts are looking to take a sizable advantage back to Algeria for the second leg which will ultimately decide the team who goes through to the semi-finals, a stage the Port Harcourt side are determined to achieve after falling short last campaign.

Will Evans Ogenyi’s side be able to beat the defending champions on Sunday?

USM Alger, CAF Confederation Cup champions
USM Alger trophy celebration. Credit: Icon Sport

Rivers United vs USM Alger predicted lineups

Below are our predicted lineups for the Rivers United vs USM Alger CAF Confederation Cup tie.

Rivers United – 4-2-3-1

Goalkeeper: Akande Abiodun Asimiyu
Defenders: Kazie Godswill, Ekerette Udom, Ebedebiri Endurance, Emmanuel Appiah.
Midfielders: Augustine Okejepha, Farouk Mohammed, Sadiq Abubakar Adamu, Alex Oyowah, Echeta Ugonna Deputy.
Forwards: Nyima Nwagwa.

Rivers United players celebrate scoring a goal
Credit: Icon Sport

USM Alger – 4-4-2

The quintet of Oussama Chita, Salim Boukhenchouche, Ismail Belkacem, Brahim Benzaza, and captain Zinedine Belaid are out injured and will miss the game.

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Goalkeeper: Oussama Benbot
Defenders: Saadi Redouani, Abdessamed Bounacer, Adem Alilet, Hocine Dehiri.
Midfielders: Omar Embarek, Sekou Konate, Abderrahmane Bacha, Islam Merili.
Forwards: Leonel Ateba, Abdoulaye Kanou

USM Alger players
Credit: @USMAofficiel X

Rivers United vs USM Alger stats

  • Rivers United and USM Alger will be making a successive appearance in the quarter-finals of the CAF Confederation Cup.
  • USM Alger are the defending champions of the CAF Confederation Cup, they beat Tanzanian side Young Africans in the final last season.
  • Rivers United will be facing USM Alger for the first time in CAF competitions.
  • Both teams’ last CAF Confederation Cup game ended in a 2-1 scoreline.
  • Barring the qualification stages, USM Alger have only lost one game in the competition this season (4W, 1D) in six matches played.
  • Rivers United, on the other hand, have lost two matches whilst recording four wins during the group stage.
  • Rivers United have scored ten goals and conceded eight times this season in the CAF Confederation Cup, while USM Alger netted eight and conceded three.
  • USM Alger qualified into the quarter-finals with 13 points from Group A, while Rivers United finished second with 12 points from Group C.
  • Rivers United won three of their last five matches across all competitions, with one draw and loss apiece.
  • USM Alger have won their last five games across all competitions.
  • Four of Rivers United’s last 10 games went above the 2.5 goal threshold, with six of USM Alger’s last 10 matches as well.
Rivers United team photo ahead of a CAF Confederation Cup game
Photo by Icon Sport

Rivers United vs USM Alger: 3 players to watch

As fans of both clubs look forward to this game, these are three players to watch out for on Sunday.

Abdoulaye Kanou

Abdoulaye Kanou is in top form for USM Alger this season. The 23-year-old Malian forward has been a thorn in the flesh of opposing defenders with his trickery and good finishing abilities.

Kanou has scored eight goals from 11 appearances across all competitions for USM Alger this season, with two of the goals coming in from the CAF Confederation Cup.

If there’s a player who can hurt Rivers United while on the field of play, it will be Kanou who has two goals and an assist in this competition this campaign.

Alex Oyowah

Alex Oyowah in action for Rivers United
Photo by Icon Sport

Alex Oyowah played a pivotal role in River United’s qualification into the group stage of this competition, and has continued to deliver the goods for Ogenyi’s men when it really mattered.

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The 20-year-old midfielder played all six matches of the group stage for the Pride of Rivers, scoring two goals and providing two assists.

He’s a player who can make the difference as the Algerian side tackles the 2021 NPFL champions.

Nyima Nwagwa

Naturally an attacking midfielder, Nyima Nwagwa has evolved his game so much that he plays both as a midfielder and a striker.

The 30-year-old veteran has netted one goal for the team in this competition, and has not scored in his last three matches on the continent which makes this encounter one Nwagwa will be eager to score.

Nyima Nwagwa in action for Rivers United
Photo by Icon Sport

Interestingly, his only goal in the Confederation Cup this season came at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, the same venue for Sunday’s game.

Where to watch Rivers United vs USM Alger live

The quarter-final clash between Rivers United and Algerian giants USM Alger will be live on SuperSport for DStv and GOtv subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Fans can as well catch up with the action live on StarTimes and both teams’ YouTube channel.

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