Defending SociaLiga champions, Dannaz FC, are up against the returning Royals FC as they begin the defence of their title. Former SociaLiga finalists, Royals, did not participate in SociaLiga last season – for the first time ever – following the tragic death of one of its top players, Chi Van Eze.
Dannaz got off to a winning start last season when they beat fellow SociaLiga debutants Alphas FC 3-1 in a game that was essentially one-way traffic. This time around, they face a sterner test against a Royals team that are known to be incredibly difficult to beat. Royals still have the core of the team that lost on penalties in the 2016 SociaLiga final. That includes star midfielder, Bolaji, who is one of the best midfielders that SociaLiga has ever seen.
This is the first ever meeting between the two sides, and it will be interesting to see how they fare against each other in their season opener.
Dannaz are known for their simple, intricate passing game and relentless, effective pressing. Their strength is in how they operate as a unit, constantly passing out from the back and carving out lots of opportunities. One big obstacle for Dannaz this season is that teams now know them. They are no longer the surprise package so teams will be prepared for them and tailor gameplans accordingly. Teams can also look at the strategy employed by Citizens FC last season to inflict Dannaz’s only loss.
Royals are known for their ability to adapt to any opponent. They do not have a specific style of play, which adds to the mystery about them, as they are unpredictable. They can go long when required or play an opponent off the park with intricate passing. One potential problem they might have early this season is the fact they they haven’t played a competitive game in a while. This might mean that they would take some time to get going. An opening game against the champions is exactly the kind of game they would have hoped to avoid at this stage of the season.
The key battle will likely happen in the Royals half, especially in the first half. Dannaz FC will be expected to press high, relentlessly and Royals FC would have to respond to that in order to get a result.
Dannaz – Obakimi (ST)
Royals – Bolaji (MF)