NPFL Previews: Gombe United, Akwa United tango as rescheduled matches take over

The Promise keepers and the Olukoya Boys' nice results against the Naze Millionaires and Edo Arsenal were among the top results in NPFL matchday 11

REMO STARS VS WIKKI TOURISTS

Remo Stars will play their second real home game on Sunday against Wikki Tourists after they completed their banishment to Osogbo because of the unruly behaviour of their fans in their first game of the season against Ben del Insurance in Sagamu.

They are returning to the Gateway International Stadium, Sagamu again after they played against Katsina United, MFM and Kwara United at the Osogbo Township Stadium where they won two games and lost one. They had started the season with high expectations based on how they ended the Nigeria National League season that guaranteed them one of the four tickets to the top-flight.

The mayhem against Insurance did more harm than good and if the season is to end today, they will be among the four teams to be demoted in Group A of the NPFL. Kennedy Boboye’s men are under pressure to beat Aliyu Zubairu’s men to ensure that they leave the drop zone where they presently occupy at the 10th spot with eight points from nine games.

Wikki Tourists will need at least a draw from this game in order not to slip to the relegation zone. They will pray that Abba Umar remains in form and also add to the four goals he already scored in the elite division this season. The Giant Elephants are eighth in Group A with nine points from eight matches.     

                                                               

LOBI STARS VS KATSINA UNITED

Lobi Stars have a lot of outstanding games to grapple with and one of them comes up against Katsina United at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi on Sunday.

The distraction of the Caf Champions League meant that they have fixtures congestion and they must strive to negotiate good results in the rescheduled fixtures if they are eager to retain the league title at the end of the season. The Pride of Benue are currently 11th in the league table in Group A with seven points from four games. A home win against Abdullahi Biffo’s men will no doubt take them out of the drop zone into the top five brackets.

Katsina United are still in search of their first away points and an impressive result in Makurdi will not only wipe off their unproductive away record since the season began. They are presently seventh in the lower league with nine points from six matches.   

BENDEL INSURANCE VS ENYIMBA

This fixture could have come up in the second week of hostility but it has been delayed until now. Bendel Insurance have only won a match since their return to the top flight and they must beat Enyimba to atone for the points they have lost at home and also consolidate on the points they have got in their away games.

It took the Edo Arsenal 11 years before they could muster the courage to stage a return to the top-flight. They have not done too badly having played five away games from the eight fixtures they have honoured. They have picked three away points from the five games but their home results need to improve with the win over Lobi Stars their only home win from the three games they have played at the UNIBEN Sports Complex, Benin.

Monday Odigie’s men will leave the relegation zone if they manage to beat Enyimba. They are presently ninth with eight points from eight games.

Enyimba have gone on a three-match unbeaten streak and they have the opportunity of extending it to four if they dodge a defeat in Benin. The People’s Elephant found it difficult to secure away points at the start of the season but they got a point in Minna against Niger Tornadoes and are capable of repeating the feat against Bendel Insurance on Sunday.

Usman Abdallah’s men will widen the gap between them and third place Sunshine Stars if they are able to achieve a positive result in Benin.  They are presently in the second spot in Group A with 14 points from nine games 

GOMBE UNITED VS AKWA UNITED

Gombe United who are yet to recover from their shock home loss to GO Round have been presented with another chance to right their wrong when they host in-form Akwa United at the Pantami Stadium on Sunday.

The Savannah Scorpions players and the technical crew will no doubt be rooting for a home win to appease their fans but they won’t have it on the platter against the Promise Keepers who have garnered 13 points from possible 15 in their last five games. Ladan Bosso’s men Achilles heel has no doubt been their strikers' wastefulness in the final third.

To get a positive result against Akwa United, they can’t afford to be profligate. Gombe United are 11th with nine points from nine games and a home win will see them move out of the relegation zone.  

Akwa United showed their readiness for the tie when they airlifted their players and officials to Abuja from where they connected the vehicle to Gombe.

The Promise Keepers could leapfrog FC IfeanyiUbah to the first position in the league table at the end of the Sunday cracker if they secure an unlikely away win and this should urge the players on to give a good account of themselves. They are presently third in the league table in Group B with 15 points from nine matches.     

 

KADA CITY VS YOBE DESERT STARS

Kada City recorded a heartwarming away win against Plateau United in Jos and they have a chance to add to the misery of the underfire Yobe Desert Stars with a home win.

It was Kada City’s first top-flight away win in their debut season in the elite division and a home win against Yobe Stars will help further to lift the Kaduna based team out of the relegation zone.

Usman Adams’ men did a great job in Jos and it is left to be seen if they will not be overwhelmed by the media razzmatazz that greeted their surprise away win against Plateau United. The fixture with Yobe Stars will test their resolve and how they manage pressure. Kada City are 10th with 10 points from eight games.

Yobe Stars’ Ngozi Elechi will witness his second game in the three-game ultimatum given him and he is under compulsion to ensure that his players do not lose in Kaduna. Elechi managed to follow the team to Kaduna ahead of the tie with Kada City and he must ensure that his players vie for the three points irrespective of the odds against them. Yobe Stars are last in Group B with seven points from eight games.