The Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL, enters week 10 this weekend, with the game between two former league winners, Enugu Rangers and Kano Pillars top of the pack.
2016 winners, Rangers hosts four-time winners, Pillars, who are still mourning the loss of their reliable defender, Chinedu Udoji, in an explosive encounter at the Cathedral.
Rangers have rediscovered their mojo after a poor start to the season under new manager, Gbenga Ogunbote, whose style seems to be taking shape.
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Today, the Flying Antelopes take on Pillars, who could replace Akwa United as league leaders if they manage to escape Enugu with at least a point.
Sai Masu Gida go into this game in good form, having lost just once in nice matches this season, and sit second on the table, level on points with leaders, Akwa.
In terms of their travels, Pillars haven’t done badly having picked up at least a point on each of their trips away from home, bar the game against Rivers United, which they lost 2-1 in Port Harcourt.
However, in their hosts, Rangers, they face a difficult nut to crack, as the home side, who are just three points behind them, are looking impregnable at home.
Since losing 2-1 to Lobi Stars in their first home game of the season, the Flying Antelopes are yet to drop a point, winning three in three.
So, it’s a daunting task for Ibrahim Musa and his side, who have only won once in their last 15 visits to Enugu.
Elsewhere in the league, Enyimba hosts Sunshine Stars in Aba, Ifeanyi Ubah and Kwara United are also at home to Nasarawa United and Rivers United respectively.
Two games have been postponed, the games between Akwa Utd and Heartland, and that between champions, Plateau United and Go Round FC.
Akwa and Plateau have been excused from these weekend’s games after they arrived late back into the country from their CAF Champions League games in midweek.
Late Udoji to be honoured by his colleagues
Meanwhile, NPFL clubs are set to honour the late Chinedu Udoji, the Pillars defender and captain, who passed on after a ghastly car crash in Kano.
The League Management Company, LMC, has mandated that all clubs observe a minute’s silence in honour of the late Udoji, before kickoff across the country.
The players are also expected to wear black armbands during their matches to mourn the late star.
Rangers Int’l v Pillars
Enyimba v Sunshine Stars
FCIU v Nasarawa Utd
Kwara Utd v Rivers Utd
MFM v Lobi Stars
Tornadoes v Abia Warriors
Wikki v Katsina Utd
Yobe Stars v El-Kanemi