Maduka Okoye will continue his club’s battle to escape relegation from the Dutch Eredivisie at the end of the season when Sparta Rotterdam face home side, FC Groningen, at the Euroborg Stadium tonight [Saturday].
The Super Eagles goalkeeper is the only Nigerian player who is battling for safety in the Dutch topflight league and his is a peculiar case as he is fighting safety on two fronts. One with Sparta in the Netherlands and secondly with Watford, the English Premier League club-side he is expected to join when the 2021/22 football campaign finally comes to an end.
Sparta have just 26 points after 30 games. If they win their remaining three matches, they could survive relegation but their results in the last two months put their safety in doubt. That is the situation as they are without a win in the six fixtures within this period.
Okoye was impressive in goal for Sparta last weekend as they continued their push for survival.
He was between the sticks when AZ Alkmaar visited the Sparta Stadion Het Kasteel and in the first half, he pulled off two saves as the hosts were on the back foot for long spells.
The German-born Nigerian shot-stopper has not had the best of seasons with Sparta, though, having conceded 38 league goals in 27 games while keeping just six clean-sheets for his club.
They sit in the relegation play-off but Okoye who will join Watford this summer will hope to ensure Sparta retain their status in the Dutch league before leaving for the Premier League.
By Oluyemi Ogunseyin
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