Rivers United and MFM FC have tough duels ahead of them as action resumes in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) on Sunday with several mouth-watering fixtures.
For many, the confrontation between league leaders, Wikki Tourists, and four-time champions, Kano Pillars, is the pick of the ties on Match Day 23. But the game in Anaedo, Nnewi, between FC Ifeanyi Ubah and Rivers United also catches the eye, same as the South West derby in Lagos that pitches MFM FC against Shooting Stars.
Rivers United have started the second half of the season in blistering fashion; amassing seven points from a possible nine in the NPFL. They also qualified for the last 16 of the Federation Cup following an earth-shaking 4-0 dismantling of Kaduna United in midweek.
Stanley Eguma’s charges are only second on the NPFL standings due to goals difference and could go top on Sunday with a win if Wikki fail to amass maximum points against Pillars in Bauchi.
Beating Ifeanyi Ubah in Nnewi is not going to be easy as no side in the NPFL have achieved that feat this season.
The ‘Anaedo Warriors’ are unbeaten in eight home games this season and only failed to win in two of those fixtures against Abia Warriors (on May 1) and MFM FC (on May 19).
Both games ended 0-0 as the club endured a relatively unproductive month in terms of points return in home games.
Going into Sunday’s clash, Stanley Eguma’s men have scored eight goals in their last two matches in all competitions while letting in just one.
For the South West derby in Lagos, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries Football Club of Lagos will be up against Shooting Stars at the Agege Township Stadium.
Both teams have met on three occasions prior to this meeting. The first engagement was in the 2013/14 Nigeria National League (NNL) season. MFM FC beat the visitors 2-1 in the first leg at the Agege stadium while The Oluyole Warriors muscled out a 2-0 win in the return fixture in Ibadan.
This meeting between MFM FC and 3SC will be the fourth in a competitive competition and the second in the NPFL.
The Oluyole Warriors won the first meeting of this same fixture in match day 3 of the ongoing season with a 3-0 victory.
In a chat with PREMIUM TIMES, Shooting Stars coach, Gbenga Ogunbote, admitted that he expects a difficult game in Lagos. But he was also quick to add that his team will fight to get at least a point from the game.
“We are desperate at the moment , so we must fight for points in all our games, MFM FC is a good team but we are not afraid of any team,” Ogunbote who is on a second stint with the Ibadan club submitted.
Just getting back in their strides, Ogunbote and his wards occupy the 18th position in the 20-team league table with 23 points from 21 matches. They have conceded 34 goals and scored 22.
Full Match Day 23 Fixtures
16:00 IfeanyiUbah vs Rivers United
16:00 MFM FC vs Shooting Stars
16:00 Enyimba vs Sunshine Stars (Postponed)
16:00 Lobi Stars vs Ikorodu United (Postponed)
16:00 Akwa United vs El-Kanemi Warriors
16:00 Abia Warriors vs Heartland
16:00 Wikki Tourists vs Kano Pillars
16:00 Wolves FC vs Plateau United
16:00 Niger Tornadoes vs Rangers International