NPFL Returns as Enyimba Battle Rangers in Oriental Deby


Action returns in the Nigeria Premier Football League this weekend as the league enters its 2oth week, with the league’s ‘big men’ looking to start off on a winning note, confronted with tricky ties.

El Kanemi Football Club of Maiduguri will welcome Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan to the Karkanda Stadium in Katsina on Sunday. The Warriors sit in 15th place on the log hoping for redemption and rich vein of form this second stanza and will be trying to avoid a re-invigorated 3SC who sit in 10th place with 26 points.

Giant-killers Wikki, who sit in 5th place with 32 points, will welcome Heartland, who are in fourth place. Both sides are equal on points, though Heartland sit above them, having superior goals’ difference. Heartland has promised to unleash the league’s leading scorer, Bright Ejike, who returns after a brief injury, but Wikki, who take pride in their defence line, will be looking to choke Ejike’s rampage.

Giwa, who have gone quiet, for a few weeks there, will be looking to resurrect against the Afonja Warrior, Kwara United, when both sides clash at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, as well.

Giwa’s young guns, who had claimed their share of scalps at the beginning of the season, slumped to anumber of draws at the middle of the campaign, have slipped to 6th on the log, with 35 points in the kitty. They will come out firing on all cylinders against a side they think they can easily triumph over. For Kwara United, it will be their will against a youthful, but clinical side and the best bet will be a draw.

The Oriental derby will light up the east, with Enyimba International welcoming Rangers International to the Aba Township Stadium, which has become, somewhat, a victory ground of late. Both sides met on the final day of the first stanza of the league, with Enyimba taking the day, but the Antelopes will be coming at the Elephants with sprite steps, hoping to get one back at them for that disheartening defeat.

New Kano Pillars coach Mohammed Babaganaru will be looking to work his old tricks on the sai masu gida, as Kano Pillars take on Makurdi-based side Lobi Stars in a decisive game. It will be Babaganaru’s first game in charge of the side he left under a cloud two years ago – and a game which will determine how quickly the Pillars’ faithful warm up to his second coming. Lobi, one of four sides sitting at the bottom of the log, has 20 points from 19 games and will not want to let this opportunity for an away draw, at least, go to the winds.


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