Enyimba aim for a return to the top of the league table (Week 28 NPFL Preview)

Glo Professional Football League (GPFL) resumes this midweek, August 28 with Match day 28 at the various match venues across the Nation. Last weekend’s games produced 17 goals, ten home wins and there was no draw as all the home teams won all their games.

Going into the midweek games, there are strong indications that the league standings may have another team at the top. The top four teams will be playing their respective games away from home. Table toppers Kano Pillars will be doing battle with Heartland in Owerri; Bayelsa United will be visiting the Akure Gunners in Ondo State, El-Kanemi Warriors will be slugging it out with 3SC in Ibadan and the Afonja Warriors and Baribote’s Boys will be trading tackles at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenegoa. Enyimba International Football Club who are currently 5th on the log will be playing at home against Gombe United, a win in this game for Enyimba may shoot them to the top if the top four teams fail to win their matches.

The battle in the relegation zone continues with the basement teams with a couple of them standing a chance to pull away from the drop zone, if they get a decent result in their games. Interestingly, the four relegation bound teams all play at home this midweek, Heartland Fc, 3SC, ABS FC and bottom side Nasarawa United, a win for these teams will revitalize their league campaign.

Week 28 Games

3SC vs El Kanemi Warriors

It’s going to be a clash between two sets of desperate Warriors in the largest city in West Africa, Ibadan on Wednesday, as Oluyole Warriors will be entertaining El-Kanemi Warriors. It is a must win game for Shooting Stars if they intend to maintain their premier league status next season; a defeat or a stalemate in this encounter may spell doom for them. El-Kanemi are on a fine run of form at the moment and they are capable of springing up a surprise. Both teams have got quality players at their disposal who are capable of getting the job done, the visitors will be banking on the likes of Raphael Boumsong, Haruna Babalo and a host of others while the likes of Gbolahan Salami, Kingsley Eduwo, Mutiu Adegoke and the returning Philip Asuquo (aka Iniesta) will be in action for the homers. El Kanemi pummeled 3SC 2-0 in the reverse fixture.

Heartland vs Kano Pillars

The 2012 Federation Cup Champions will be hosting the 2012 League Champions at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri. The Naze Millionaires’ have already suffered three home defeats this season and they wouldn’t want to taste another till the end of the season. Sai Masu Gida pipped Heartland Fc 1-0 in the first fixture which was decided at the Old Parade Ground in Abuja after crowd violence when the game ended with honours even in Kano. The Owerri-based side occupies the 17th spot on the 20-team league on 34 points from a possible 81 points while Kano Pillars are on top of the table with 45 points.

Sunshine Stars vs Bayelsa United

Smarting from a 2-0 bashing in their last league game, the Akure Gunners will be using this game to console their fans by trashing the visitors, Bayelsa United.  Ladan Bosso and his lads will have to play their hearts out in this game if they really want to take anything from the game. Sunshine Stars have not lost at home in their last six games, hence it’s going to be a difficult task for United. The first leg ended 1-0 as Bayelsa United amass the three points courtesy of a goal from Terkimbi Akosu.

Sharks vs Wikki Tourists

Kano Pillars defeated Sharks in their last league game to put an end to Sharks five match unbeaten run, the Blue Angels will want to use the duel to get back to winning ways. The reverse fixture ended in a stalemate as Sharks Fc picked a point in that game. Both teams are on same points and have played 27 games each. Players to watch out for in this game are Christian Pyagbara, Tayo Fabiyi, Jonah Abutu for Sharks Fc and for Wikki Tourists the likes of Alaba Johnson, Tunde Aremu and Shuaibu Ibrahim should be looked out for.

ABS vs Akwa United

Dogo Boys were able to force Akwa United to a two all draw in their first encounter in Week eight when Audu Akeem and Abdulrahman Bashir scored a goal each to grind out a point in that game. ABS have been handed a three-match ultimatum by the club management to up their position on the table, they lost the first one against Bayelsa United, and now the second one, they must do all that is possible to earn a point from this game because their recent home records has not been too convincing. Ichull Lordson, Stone Evbuomwan and others will be in action for the homers while Mfon Udoh, Ezekiel Mba and Son Hingir will also be in action for Justin Tenger’s men.

Rangers vs Lobi Stars

Okey Emordi’s team could not get any point in the reverse fixture, as Lobi Stars sent them back to base with a 2-1 victory. Going into this game, Rangers will be digging deep  to get a victory as the team wouldn’t want to disappoint their home fans on Wednesday, at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium. Rangers home records in their last five home games has been fantastic, it will be a tall order for Lobi Stars to come out victorious in this game.

Nassarawa United vs Dolphins

In their quest to come out of drop zone, the management of Nasarawa United appointed Former Super Falcons coach, Kadiri Ikhana and charged him to take the team out of the drop zone, Kadiri and his team lost their first match last week on the road by 2-0 to Gombe United. It’s a must win for the Solid Miners but I doubt if they will defeat Dolphins because they have not been solid at home in recent times. The Port Harcourt based side trounced Nasarawa United 3-0 in the reverse fixture.

Enyimba vs Gombe United

Six-time league champions, Enyimba of Aba will be hosting stubborn Gombe United on Wednesday at the Enyimba International Stadium. A victory for The Peoples’ Elephant might shoot them to the top of the table if the top four teams fail to win their away games. The visitors are yet to pick a point away from home this season. They won the first encounter by a lone strike by Cyril Obodo. Enyimba on the other hand have a good home record this season, only drawing two out of their home games in the first stanza. Both teams are placed on the 5th and 6th spot on the log respectively; the Peoples Elephant with 42 points from possible 81 while the visiting team are 2 points behind the host.

Nembe City vs Kwara United

The Kalekeluma Boys will be holding it down with the Afonja Warriors in a make or mar duel. Nembe were beaten in their last away game by Kaduna United 2-0 and they narrowly pipped Warri Wolves by 1-0 in their last home match, now they will face frightening Kwara United who had gained more points away from home than any other NPFL team this season. Kabiru Sanusi and Nojeem Olukokun were the scorers for Kwara United in the first leg as Afonja Warriors claimed the maximum points with a 2-0 victory.

WarriWolves vs Kaduna United

The Sea Siders are a point above the Crocodiles’ on the 20-team table. Warri Wolves have not won any game in their last four league games; they drew two games at home and lost two games on their away trips. The reverse fixture ended in a one all draw as Wolves claimed a point from that game. Kaduna United have not been excellent away from home this season as they are yet to either win nor draw away from home. Super Eagle’s player Oghenekaro Etebo, Joseph Osadieye and Goal Keeper Okiemute Odah will be in action for the host while the trio of Ndubuisi Ekuruibe, Linus Adam and Iliya Ajibo will also be spotting the Kaduna United Jersey.

Adeyemi Adesanya
Sports Business Consultant and Football Intermediary; Risk Management & Due Diligence Consultant; Freelance Football writer & Pundit on Radio & TV and Man.Utd Fan
http://www.halftimeng.com

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