NPFL: Sunshine Stars, MFM set for first Southwest derby

NPFL: Sunshine Stars, MFM set for first Southwest derby

All is now set for the first Southwest derby this season in the NPFL as Sunshine Stars host their neighbours from Lagos, MFM FC, in Akure.

ACLSports.com’s NPFLMoments is already in Akure and will keep you abreast of all you need to know as the only two sides from the Southwest in the NPFL this season clash in a week nine encounter at the Akure Township Stadium on Thursday evening.

The hosts, the Akure Gunners, are in superb shape going into this particular tie after their brilliant results in the last two matchdays.

Sunshine have won their last three matches, scoring eight goals with four of those scored at the venue of tomorrow’s tie against the Olukoya Boys the last time they played in front of their fans.

However, in their visitors, MFM, the home side are set to face a side on the up as well. The Prayer Warriors also come into this game in a good form, after thrashing Akwa United 3-0 at the weekend.

Nevertheless, when these two step on the pitch at the Township Stadium here in Akure, either will be hoping to build on their respective results.

The home side will be hoping to make it a fourth successive win at home for the first time in the NPFL, while for MFM, a second consecutive victory, also for the first time, is on the card.

Head-to-Head

This will be the eighth meeting between the Akure Gunners, with the away side having the advantage having won four of the previous seven compared to Sunshine’s three. 

Akure has not been a happy hunting ground for MFM in recent times, however, with three defeats and a win in their four visits.

The Olukoya Boys conceded eight goals and scored three in that run, with their only win coming on February 5, 2017.

Key Battle

The key battle in this match will be between NPFL top scorer, Israel Abia and MFM defence led by Joshua Akpudje. 

Abia is on fire at the moment as he currently tops the net bursters’ chart with six goals from eight matches.

Five of those goals have been scored at home, with four of them scored against Nasarawa United on matchday seven.

With two clean sheets on the road this season, the Akpudje-led back four will go into the game with enough believe that they can handle whatever Abia throws at them.

Key Stats

Sunshine Stars have scored in each of their last six home matches in the NPFL. 

The win against Adamawa United was the first time since May 2015 Sunshine had won three successive games in the NPFL.

None of the Akure Gunners last five matches have ended in a stalemate.

Sunshine Stars and MFM are yet to play a draw in this fixture.

The Akure Gunners have only lost one of their last five matches, while MFM have lost two of their last away ties.

Quotables 

MFM striker, Kabiru Adeniji spoke told www.aclsports.com after his team’s last training session in Akure, saying the Olukoya Boys are in Akure to take all three points but expects a ‘tough’ game against the Gunners.

“It’s going to be a tough game, but we are MFM, ” he told YourSportsMemo.

“We are here with determination and force to take all three points.”

 

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