The Nigerian Professional Football League is back in full flow. Barely 10 days since its resumption on Jan 13, we are hit with matchday 4.
11 states of the federation will witness breathtaking football as the abridged league continues. The previous matchday produced 18 goals from 8 matches, Heartland with the only away win in Lafia while the ancient city of Kano also witnessed good football as pillars drew with Akwa U
On the 23rd of January, 2019, teams will file out again with full expectations of conquering their opponents.
League champions and current CAF champions league participants, Lobi stars will have a first taste of the action when they visit former champions Enyimba in Aba. The boys from Makurdi lost to Asec Mimosas by a lone goal in Abidjan and return to face an Enyimba side that has scored 4 goals in two games.
Coach Solomon Ogbeide will be looking to put their continental loss behind them and focus on their title defense. It won’t be an easy task as Enyimba, who have been known to turn their home ground to a fortress will want to grab maximum points to show who the real champions are. Enyimba come off the back of a narrow loss to Kwara United in Ilorin, a match in which they led twice.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s second representatives at CAF competition this year, Enugu Rangers, will be in Lagos to play their first league fixture against MFM FC. The flying antelopes beat FC Bantu of Lesotho during the weekend to qualify for the group stages of the CAF confederations cup and will be hoping to build on that when they file out at the Agege Township stadium. MFM FC occupy 4th spot in group A, with 3points from 2 matches. Their weekend tie against Lobi stars was postponed due to the later’s involvement in the continent, and as such, they will be looking to build on the 2-0 win over Kwara United last time at the soccer temple. Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu will be banking on his relatively new side to grab maximum points at home.
The city of Benin will witness top tier league action for the first time in over 10 years as New boys, Bendel Insurance plays hosts to group leaders Kwara United. The Benin arsenal who just returned from Sagamu with a point will be in full confidence ahead of this tie. Coach Monday Odigie who is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the team regain its lost glory will be expecting star man Charles Omokaro to increase his tally this season. Meanwhile, Kwara United who is topping group A after acquiring 4 points from 3 matches will want to build on that comeback win over Enyimba in that 5-goal thriller. Coach Abubarka will be banking on striker Segun Alebiosu to deliver in this tie.
Other matches for group A are:
Katsina United Vs Wikki tourists
Sunshine Stars Vs Rivers United
Niger Tornadoes Vs Remo stars
Group B also presents mouth watering fixtures.
Yobe desert stars will play their first match of the league season when they travel to Anambra to face Ifeanyi ubah FC in Nnewi. Coach Uche Okagbue of FCIU has so far proven that his relatively young and unknown side can reap dividends in the league this season, but perhaps that may be too early to say. The anambra warriors have not conceded a goal this season, thanks to a resolute defense led by Goal keeper Charles Anozie. This has seen them gather 5points from 3 games and are ranked 3rd in the group B standings.
Table toppers Heartland of Owerri will welcome Go Round FC to the Okigwe Township stadium for this matchday’s tie. Heartland
Down south in Uyo, Akwa United will play hosts to Plateau United. It will be some kind of reunion as coach Abdu Maikaba of plateau united will be facing his former employers after leading them to a 2nd placed finish last season and winning the Aiteo cup two seasons ago. The men from JOS will be buoyed by that 2 nil win over El-
Meanwhile, coach of the home team, Rafael Everton has said that plateau united will be playing against, and entirely different side with different tactics, so there’s no such thing as plateau united knowing what to expect. Akwa bounced back from that shock home defeat in matchday one by going to Kano to draw against pillars and they will want to give their fans something to cheer about on Wednesday.
Other matches include;
Gombe United Vs Kano Pillars
Abia Warriors Vs Kada City
Thursday 24 January 2019
El-kanemi warriors Vs Nasarawa United