By Tunde Eludini
Week 37 fixtures of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) come up Wednesday across the country with teams ready to battle for the crucial points at stake.
The target for the different teams varies with just one match to end the season after today’s games.
While teams like Kano Pillars, Enugu Rangers and Lobi Stars are in a three-horse race for the League title, other teams are jostling for continental tickets while the remaining battle to avoid relegation into the lower ranks of Nigerian football.
For many, the clash between Lobi Stars and Enugu Rangers at the dreaded Kastina-Ala stadium is the pick amongst the Week 37 NPL fixtures.
Soccer fans across the country have dubbed the game a potential League decider.
The Flying Antelopes currently sit on top of the NPL Table with 61 points and have Lobi Stars breathing down their neck with 60 points.
The scenario means that a loss for Rangers in today’s clash may end their title charge, while Lobi will definitely be out of title challenge if they lose.
Already, Rangers, who won the reverse fixture by a lone goal, are crying blue murder especially after Monday’s directive by the NPL management that home teams should foot the bills of the match officials.
“We are really worried if we will get a level playing ground with what is happening; while we were still complaining about the bad pitch in Kastina Ala, the NPL has asked the home team’s to carter for the referees,” Foster Chime media officer to Enugu Rangers told Premium Times.
This is not a good omen but that notwithstanding we are ready to fight hard against Lobi,” he said.
In other games, another title contender Kano Pillars are away to Akwa United.
Coach Baba Ganaru of Pillars told Premium Times that his boys will be hunting for three points away from home.
The Pyramid Boys remain unbeaten all through last month, and despite losing three players to national team assignments, Coach Ganaru is upbeat of a good result against Akwa United.
“It’s a crucial stage and we know what is at stake. Even though we are missing three key players, I have faith in the players at my disposal that they can still do the job,” Ganaru offered.
Kano Pillars need a win to remain in strong contention for the title
In other centers, Sharks will play host to Wikki Tourist while Heartland lay ambush for Gombe United in Owerri. Shooting Stars face a tough task away from home as they take on Warri Wolves in one of the Week 37 matches.
NPL Week 37 Fixtures (Wed, Aug 15)
Warri Wolves Vs Shooting stars
Lobi Stars Vs Rangers
Sharks FC Vs Wikki Tourist.
Jigawa G.S Vs Enyimba Int’l
Akwa United Vs Kano Pillars
Niger T. Vs Dolphins FC
ABS Face vs. Kaduna United
Heartland FC Vs Gombe United
Ocean Boys Vs Rising Stars.
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