The Nigeria Professional Football League is in for an explosive opening week which promises to be action packed after the draw conducted in Asaba, Delta State on Tuesday night brought up exciting matchups in Groups A and B.
In Group A, Enugu Rangers will try to avoid an opening day stumble like they had last season against Abia Warriors when they host 2017 Federation Cup finalists, Niger Tornadoes at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu while Lobi Stars will start their title defense at home to Katsina United at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi.
Kwara United and Sunshine Stars will continue from where they stopped last season when they faced off this term first at the Kwara State Sports Complex, Ilorin. It was 2-2 draw last season in a one-off fixture while Enyimba will strive to continue their recent dominance over MFM with a home fixture against the Olukoya Boys who are yet to hit their strides in their pre-season build-up so far.
In Group B, Nasarawa United will begin life without former coach, Kabiru Dogo with a home tie with Abia Warriors at the Lafia Stadium while Plateau United who were the 2017 league champions will start their quest for another shot at the title under experienced coach, Abdu Maikaba with a home fixture against FC Ifeanyi Ubah who have been plagued by crisis in the build-up to the new season.
Kano Pillars will hope to re-enact their 4-0 demolition of Heartland at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano when they square up against the Naze Millionaires in their opening game of the season while Akwa United with new coach, Rafael Everton in charge will be hoping to start the season with a home win against El Kanemi Warriors who recently confirmed Mohammed Babaganaru as their new tactician in place of Imama Amapakabo who resigned from his appointment as the coach of the team.
Two fixtures each from Groups A and B are still be held until when the four promoted teams from the Nigeria National League are known.
Selected Matchday One Fixtures
Enugu Rangers Vs Niger Tornadoes
Enyimba Vs MFM
Kwara United Vs Sunshine Stars
Lobi Stars Vs Katsina United
Akwa United Vs El Kanemi Warriors
Kano Pillars Vs Heartland
Nasarawa United Vs Abia Warriors
Plateau United Vs FC Ifeanyi Ubah