Three teams have occupied the top spot within the last three MatchDays of the 2021/2022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season. As at this time last week, Remo Stars were on top but the frenetic manner at which a dwindle in results alter placements on the NPFL table has seen them slip to 4th after their first two losses of the season.
Plateau United have seen their incredible run of results rewarded with a place in first position but second place Rivers United who have enjoyed more weeks at the summit than any other team this season will have a say on Plateau’s leadership position on Sunday.
The pick of MatchDay 14 action is Sunday’s clash between Rivers United (2nd) and Rangers International (3rd) in Port Harcourt. In what has historically been a top fixture in the NPFL, the stakes are even higher on Sunday. A win for United will return them to the summit depending on the result of Plateau’s trip to Gombe United.
Abdu Maikaba’s Rangers are the only side yet to lose an away match this season having won two and drawn four of their six away games but they must put that aside and embrace reality against Stanley Eguma’s men who have beaten them in each of their last five meetings in Port Harcourt.
This weekend also sees the return of the Qua Ibo Derby between champions Akwa United and Dakkada FC. Having disengaged their head coach Kennedy Boboye last weekend, Akwa United recorded a surprise win at Remo Stars in midweek while surprise does not even describe Dakkada’s loss at home to Gombe United which will surely now raise the stakes for Sunday’s derby.
Having won five games on the trot, Plateau United’s title credentials will be further scrutinized when they face Gombe United. Plateau head coach Fidelis Ilechukwu will hope to continue his unstoppable run against a Gombe United side whose run of four unbeaten games has seen them climb to 8th on the log.
The fixtures do not get any better for Remo Stars whose fall from grace need a quick rebound in order not to find themselves even deeper down the table. They travel to Lobi Stars who have blown hot and cold in equal proportions this term and currently in 13th place on the log.
Former African Champions Enyimba have also drifted down the ladder in the past two weeks but they have a chance to look up a little more when they face bottom side MFM FC in Aba on Saturday. The Church Boys from Lagos only on Wednesday ended a run of eight games without a win.
An early season relegation six-pointer comes up at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina where hosts Katsina United will confront Heartland FC. Heartland have picked up four points from their last two games under new coach Erasmus Onu Ollotah but their sternest test comes up in Katsina this Monday.
In Kaduna, former league champions Kano Pillars will entertain Abia Warriors in a game involving the 15th and 14th placed sides. Pillars have failed to win any of their last four matches while Warriors have won just one out of their last six games. Monday’s game cannot be more needed by either side as relegation dogfight beckons on them.
Rounding off Match Day 14’s schedule are the North Central derby between Nasarawa United and Niger Tornadoes in Lafia while Sunshine Stars will entertain Kwara United at the Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu Ode.