NPFL Match Day 34 Preview: Time for Plateau to own it?

NPFL Match Day 34 Preview: Time for Plateau to own it?

The top two teams in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) will trade tackles in Sunday’s star match of Match Day 34. Both teams have occupied the apex of the league log throughout the 33 previous weeks as they engage in a two-horse race to the title, which was last won by Enugu Rangers in October 2016.

United, unbeaten in their last 35 home games are three points clear of MFM with 56 points, and a victory in Sunday’s game will take them six steps ahead of the chasing pack. Both teams are without key players due to national team commitments. Plateau goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye as well as MFM’s attacking duo Stephen Odey and Sikiru Olatunbosun are away with the Super Eagles B in Cotonou.

On the trail of MFM are Akwa United and Enyimba, both on 51 points. Failure of the Lagos side to get maximum points in Jos will allow the Southern duo narrow the gap between them. Akwa United will be without the quartet of Alhassan Ibrahim, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Afeez Aremu and Emmanuel Ariwachukwu when 8th placed Niger Tornadoes visit the Nest of Champions in Uyo.

For Enyimba, the People’s Elephant welcome relegation battlers ABS to the UJ Esuene Stadium. Captain Mfon Udoh is a doubt for the match after he was dropped from national team camp due to a purported injury.

For the second match day in a row, FC Ifeanyiubah will face the team next to them on the log as they travel to the impregnable Maiduguri Stadium for a date with El-Kanemi Warriors. Team’s topscorer Mathias Samuel will be missing for Warriors while Ifeanyiubah will also be without CHAN Eagles captain, Ikechukwu Ezenwa.

Having earned a vital point in Port Harcourt on Monday, Katsina United will look to move closer to safeguarding their top flight status when they entertain Wikki Tourists at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium. Wikki are one of last season’s top 3 all battling for survival this season alongside champions Rangers and last season’s first runner-up, Rivers United.

Rangers will welcome Sunshine Stars to Enugu on Sunday and anything short of victory for the Flying Antelopes will be disastrous for their safety. Sunshine coach Duke Udi was named the League Bloggers’ Manager of the Month and will attempt to claim his 3rd away win within the short time he has taken over the team.

Basement side Remo Stars will for a second weekend running, face a team placed 18th on the log. The Sky Blues last weekend lost to ABS in Ilorin but this weekend will stay in Shagamu to host Rivers United. United’s season which begun with Champions League football took a remarkable turn for the worst when they drew at home to Katsina United on Monday.

Defeat for Remo Stars will confirm their relegation to the second tier of Nigerian Football. In other games, Nasarawa United host Lobi Stars in a North Central Derby while Kano Pillars travel to Gombe United. Abia Warriors who lost their top scorer Sunday Adetunji to injury last weekend will face Adetunji’s former club, Shooting Stars in Umuahia on Sunday.

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