Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin will this weekend begin the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League with arch rival Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan.
The Benin Arsenals who are current Federation Cup holders are host to the Ibadan based side in one of the week two fixtures. Kick off time is 4:00pm at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium, Benin.
Insurance FC were originally scheduled to play their first match of the new football season with 2023 NPFL champions Enyimba FC in Aba but the league management, expectedly postponed the match due to the CAF Confederation cup engagement involving the Benin Arsenals and RS Berkane in Morocco. Insurance narrowly lost the Berkane battle by a lone goal and have since returned to the country to prepare for the domestic league.
The Benin Arsenals who shocked the league favorites and bookmakers last season on their return from the nation’s second tier league (NNL) as champions with a convincing 2-0 away win at Akwa Utd in the league season opener will be looking to replicate their last season successes.
Insurance finished the 2022/23 abridged season without tasting any defeat until Super Six in Lagos where they lost to Rivers Utd and Remo Stars at Onikan stadium.
The coach Monday Odigie managed Bendel Insurance FC finished in the fifth position on the log in the 2022/23 but however went on to beat Rangers International of Enugu 1-0 to lift the FA Cup at the Stephen Keshi stadium,Asaba and subsequently picked the ticket to the CAF Confederation Cup.
Insurance FC visitors Shooting Stars,on the other hand began the new season last week with a 2-1 victory over Plateau Utd in Ibadan.
Both teams met twice last season and ended the matches in draws. Insurance FC were forced to a 2-2 draw in the first leg and again forced to a1-1 draw in the revised fixture at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium.
Insurance, with the recent exploits in the CAF Confederation Cup and international explosure look good to get the maximum point at home against 3SC on Saturday.