The Glo Nigerian Premier Football League returns following a break at the weekend due to Nigeria’s commitment in the CHAN qualifying series.
SoccerNet Nigeria previews the ten matches scheduled to be played across the country as the league enters it’s closing stages.
Dolphins vs El-Kanemi Warriors
The hosts are head and neck deep in the relegation struggle but know a win can lift them out of troubled waters if other results go their way. Dolphins have only lost once at home all season, a 1-2 reverse in the hands of Enyimba.
But they face an El-Kanemi side that has an even worse defensive record (50 goals conceded) and a pathetic away form (12 defeats on the road).
The visitors however have an outstanding game, having played just 33 matches compared to Dolphins’ 44.
Giwa FC vs Wikki Tourists
It’s the battle of the top dogs as 3rd Wikki Tourists travel to the lair of 4th placed Giwa FC with either side knowing that any loss of points means that Enyimba can widen their lead on the table further.
The visitors can expect a tough battle of Troy in Jos given that the homers have not lost a game there all season. 38 goals in 34 games shows the hosts don’t score that many but having conjured a comprehensive 4-0 win over Akwa United (their biggest win at home), they know they can hurt Tourists in Jos.
FC Ifeanyi Ubah vs Heartland FC
Ifeanyi Ubah can kiss a continental ticket goodbye with a loss at home against their Eastern brothers in a contest that is expected to be tightly-contested.
Heartland’s 3-1 win away at Kwara United shows the visitors know how to crash a party and it is to be seen how FC Ubah will negotiate their 12th win of the current campaign.
Sharks vs Shooting Stars
There will be fireworks in town when these two traditional rivals lock horns in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
It’s a tale of two foes here: Shooting Stars have guaranteed their Premier League status for next season after an indifferent start but Sharks can still go down. The Blue Angels have spent the best part of the season in the relegation mix but have recently found a bit of form and are in search of every point that will guarantee safety.
Taraba FC vs Nasarawa United
17 losses, 4 of them in front of their own supporters have left Taraba grasping for points like it’s oxygen. They are 19th on the table and just two points above Bayelsa in last spot, meaning another defeat could see them end the week first from rear.
No one should expect any pity game from Nasarawa though, as the visitors chase to Jalingo points that can secure continental football next season.
Enyimba FC vs Kwara United
The Champions-in-waiting play host to relegation-hunted Kwara United with the three points as good as taken. 26 points and an amazing 17 places separate the two sides in a Goliath and David bout that is almost certainly not going to play out as scripted.
The Aba Elephants can’t afford to drop points unnecessarily with the likes of Warri Wolves and Wikki Tourists breathing down their neck.
Bayelsa vs Abia Warriors
No one can save the Yenogoa side from relegation anymore now and their task really should be ensuring they don’t end the season as the last of the 20-team league.
The homers could therefore be a tough nut to crack but Abia Warriors won’t want to be taken to the cleaners by a team that have only won 6 games out of 34, all of them at home.
Lobi Stars vs Warri Wolves
Lobi Stars may be struggling but they have one thing going for them: the Makurdi giants have not lost a single game at home.
They know how to mix it up and serve it hot in front of their adoring fans. That’s a warning to free-scoring Wolves who will be hunted and preyed upon if over-confidence is allowed to set in.
The away team is second on the log and have their eyes locked on top spot with a win likely to draw them level on points with Enyimba.
If that doesn’t motivate them, nothing else can.
Kano Pillars vs Rangers International
It’s a mid-table slug fight when 9th placed Kano Pillars host Enugu Rangers who sits comfortably in 11th place. The defending champions have long surrendered the title they won so convincingly last year and only hold very slim hopes of still nipping the last continental slot.
Just 4 points and 2 places separate the perennial rivals and goals should come aplenty from two sides whose defensive prowess is as poor as their attack is dynamic.