The abridged 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season gets older as matchday 6 beacons on Sunday, February 3rd.
Matchday 5 which took place last week saw Rangers edge past Enyimba in that oriental derby at the Cathedral, while champions Lobi Stars won big at home against Kwara United. Such feats will be expected across all match centers this weekend.
Enyimba will welcome Rivers United to the Enyimba International Stadium on Sunday. It won’t be an easy task for the People’s Elephant as they are looking to make amends after that derby loss last weekend to Enugu Rangers.
Coach Usman Abdallah will be hoping his strikers find their feet, having not scored a goal in the last two games. Meanwhile, Stanley Eguma’s Rivers United are enjoying their season so far.
They are at the summit of Group A with 8 points and currently on an unbeaten run. Wasiu Jimoh will be looking to make a lightning strike again after popping up with that late winner against Remo stars in a rescheduled Matchday 1 tie during midweek.
At the Uniben Sports Complex, new boys Bendel Insurance will play hosts to current champions Lobi Stars.
The Benin Arsenal are yet to win a game this season having drawn 3 games and lost one. Their 10th place position isn’t what was expected from coach Monday Odigie’s side and they will want to thrill their fans when Lobi Stars come calling.
Lobi Stars are unbeaten in the league so far from two games. They drew at Enyimba on Matchday 4 and successfully dismantled Kwara United last weekend at home. Top scorer Yaya Kone who got a brace in their last game will look to add to his tally in this fierce encounter.
The southwestern derby will take place in Akure when Sunshine Stars welcome new boys Remo Stars. Sunshine currently occupy 6th spot on the Group A log after 3 games. They are also unbeaten in the league and are one of the sides to have won away games this season having dispatched Wikki tourists last weekend at the Pantami.
They host Remo stars who narrowly lost to Rivers United on Wednesday. Kennedy Boboye’s side are a place better than their rivals as they are 5th with 5 points in as many games. Starman Victor Mbaoma will want to add to his tally having already scored twice this season.
OTHER MATCHES IN GROUP A;
Katsina United VS Niger Tornadoes
MFM FC VS WIKKI TOURISTS
KWARA UNITED VS ENUGU RANGERS
Group B presents mouth-watering ties and a derby as well.
Table toppers Ifeanyi Ubah FC welcome eastern neighbours Abia warriors to the Ifeanyi Ubah Int’l Stadium. Ifeanyi Ubah has been the surprise package of the league so far under coach Uche Okagbue.
They are unbeaten in the league and also have not conceded a goal in over 450 minutes of action, thanks to a rugged defence backed up by goaltender Chinedu Anozie.
Meanwhile, Abia warriors are 10th on the log with 4pts. They drew at home to new boys Gombe and they will be looking to start picking points on the road having already lost 5pts at home.
At the Sani Abacha Stadium, fireworks are expected as the Sai Masu Gida welcome Nasarawa United for a date. Kano Pillars are 8th on the log and have only managed 5pts from 5 games.
Coach Ibrahim Musa will want to capitalize on their away draw last time out versus Plateau United as they look for their second win of the campaign. It won’t be an easy task for the Landlords, as Nasarawa United can claim to know their opponents well.
Nasarawa United ended Kano Pillars 22 match unbeaten run at home some seasons back and as such, they are real enemies to be feared.
The Bala Nikyu led side have 6 points from 5 matches. They will be buoyed by their 2 nil win over Akwa united at home earlier this week.
Akwa United will be seeking to redeem their season as they welcome GoRound FC to the Nest of Champions. The Nest of Champions, which has been known to be a fortress for the Promise Keepers, has so far seen sides pick points from there this season.
Akwa United are deeply rooted at the bottom of the log with 2 points in 4 games.
The club chairman, during the week, had charged his wards to wake up from what has been the most disappointing start to a season by The Promise Keepers in recent years.
Brazilian tactician Rafael Everton is still in search of a first competitive win for the Uyo side and this match may just be a perfect tie to achieve that. GoRound will play their third match in the week having already played El-Kanemi and Kada City on Monday and Thursday respectively.
Coach Willy Udube will have to rotate his side and hope for the best in this encounter. They have already won away this season and they will want to continue that feat. It promises to be a tough fixture for GoRound, but perhaps it is not a good time for them to visit the victory-hungry Akwa United.
OTHER MATCHES IN GROUP B ARE;
El-Kanemi Warriors VS Yobe Desert Stars
Gombe United VS Plateau United
Heartland VS Kada City