The only remaining unbeaten record left in the 2019/20 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) will be under threat on Sunday, December 8, when table toppers Plateau United of Jos visit Okigwe for a date with Heartland FC in the match of the day.
Plateau United led by respected tactician Abdu Maikaba have been on top of the league table since Match day 1 and have amassed an unbelievable seven points from a possible nine in their three away matches so far (against Jigawa Golden Stars, Nasarawa United and Delta Force).
Sunday’s trip to Heartland however promises to be the sternest test yet for their title ambition as the hosts are languishing in the bottom rung of the table after winning just one of their opening six games.
Head coach Fidelis Ilechukwu knows that his side must start winning games, especially in front of their home fans and a win against the leaders might be an important motivation for them.
Just like Plateau United’s immediate ascension to the top of the table surprised many, same can be said of second placed Wikki Tourists who are just one point off the top of the table with 13 points from six matches.
Wikki will also be on the road to the South Eastern part of Nigeria for a date with FC Ifeanyiubah in Nnewi, a team they have only lost to once in their last five league meetings.
NPFL debutants Akwa Starlets lost their aura of invincibility in excruciating fashion on Wednesday, losing 1-2 at home to Kano Pillars at the Nest of Champions in Uyo. There is not much time for the Caleb Esu-led Starlets to grieve though as they make a short trip to neighbours Abia Warriors on Sunday. Both sides have lost just once in the league this term.
For Kano Pillars, their resurgence after their worst league start in years is fully on course now after that win in Uyo in which Rabiu Ali provided the assists for both goals scored by Nyima Nwagua.
With the ‘No Rabiu Ali, No Pillars’ phrase gaining more credibility, their enigmatic captain will lead them out at the Sani Abacha Stadium for the first time this season when Delta Force come calling on Sunday.
One man under enormous pressure at the moment is Akwa United head coach John Obuh. Sunday provides him with another chance to record his first win in charge of the club at his seventh attempt. The Promise Keepers host Adamawa United at the Nest of Champions in a match the former Flying Eagles boss cannot anything less than a win.
Sunshine Stars will be hoping to make the most of their back-to-back home games schedule when they host Nasarawa United at the Ondo State Sports Complex in Akure. The Owena Whales edged Akwa United 1-0 last time out and will be hoping to add head coach Kabiru Dogo‘s former side Nasarawa United to their casualty list on Sunday. United are one of just two teams yet to record a win this season.
Lagos-based side MFM FC were off duty last weekend owing to Enyimba’s continental engagement but they will make a very long trip to Katsina United this Sunday. The Coach Tony Bolus’ boys will however meet stiff resistance at Katsina’s impregnable home ground, the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, a venue where they got a point last season anyway.
Just like in the last match day, two games are postponed due to continental engagements involving league champions Enyimba and Rangers. Enyimba‘s home tie against Rivers United is off, so is also Rangers‘ fixture against Jigawa Golden Stars in Enugu.
Sunshine Stars vs Nasarawa United
Kano Pillars vs Delta Force
Heartland vs Plateau United
Katsina United vs MFM FC
Abia Warriors vs Akwa Starlets
Akwa United vs Adamawa United
FC Ifeanyiubah vs Wikki Tourists
Warri Wolves vs Lobi Stars
Enyimba vs Rivers United (PP)
Rangers Int’l vs Jigawa Golden Stars (PP)