The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) returns for the 2019/20 season on Sunday with eight out of the ten fixtures involving the 20 clubs across stadiums in Nigeria.
Match Day One will see some cracking games as teams start the toil for points and title for some and for others, avoiding a drop to the lower league.
www.npfl.ng previews this weekend’s games.
Plateau United v Lobi Stars – New Jos Stadium, Jos.
It will be an interesting battle between Abdu Maikaba who is into his second season with the 2017 champions and Gbenga ‘The Oracle’ Ogunbote who sits on the Lobi bench for the first time in the league.
Lobi, who topped in 2018 will look to shock Plateau at the 44,000 capacity Jos Stadium with their returnee veterans. David Tyavkase, Sibi Gwar, Sunday Akleche are in the mix while some debuts are expected from exciting youngster Abdulkadir Mumini and the experienced Reuben Ogbonnaya.
Wikki Tourists v Jigawa
Coach Rabiu Tata will lead an exciting band of youngsters like Innocent Jonathan and Timothy Simon even though it looks like Wikki will be
too much a mountain to climb for them.
Kano Pillars vs Rivers United
Rivers have added 16 new players to their squad with former Super Eagles defender Azubuike Egwuekwe the main attraction. The huge centreback will bring his experience to bear for Stanley Eguma’s wards.
Warri Wolves Vs Akwa United
The Warri side was in the news even before the league started when they sacked Ngozi Elechi during the preseason. Elechi, who handled Yobe Desert Stars last season got the boot after a string of unimpressive results in preseason despite only being appointed weeks earlier.
Not that Akwa United would mind as they visit Wolves with fresh faces that include former Golden Eaglets goalkeeper Bassey Akpan and 2007 NPFL top scorer Akarandut Orok who has returned from abroad.
It will be a baptism of sorts for John Obuh and Duke Udi as they make their maiden bow on the Akwa bench.
Heartland Vs MFM
This encounter will have the added spice of having former MFM coach Ilechukwu up against his immediate past employers.
Illechukwu spent eight seasons with the church team and should know the inner workings of his opponent.
With youth international Samuel Nnoshiri in their fold, Heartland will look to start the league with a bang.
FC IfeanyiUbah Vs Adamawa United
Delta Force Vs Dakkada
Abia Warriors Vs Katsina United
have engaged Henry Makinwa to tinker their affairs. Umuahia has not been a good stomping ground for Katsina. They might just want to write a new story this season beginning with the road trip to Abia.
The game between Rangers and Sunshine Stars won’t hold because the Enugu side will play their second leg CAF Confederations Cup tie same weekend ditto the Enyimba versus Nasarawa United game.
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