Nigerian League Week 2 Preview: Rangers seek redemption in Lafia

The Nigeria Professional Football League got to an unpredictable start last weekend as some unexpected results were recorded in the Match Day 1 fixtures.

Top among those results was the home loss recorded by the defending champions, Enugu Rangers, who were handed a 2-1 defeat by their regional rivals, Abia Warriors, in the multi-faceted Oriental Derby.

It is in this light that many expect that the ‘wounded’ Rangers team could turn to be a mouthful for Nasarawa United in the midweek clash billed for the Lafia City stadium.

While Rangers will be hoping to make amends with a possible away win, Nasarawa United popularly referred to as the Solid Miners will definitely want to be as solid as possible at home especially after going away to pick a point in the barren draw against Wikki Tourists in Bauchi last weekend.

Suraj Ayeleso, the 2016 Federation Cup Most Valuable Player, who  stepped up his game making series of saves to earn Nasarawa United a valuable away point last weekend is already predicting a tough outing against Rangers but with an assurance that his team will come out tops.

He said: “We know Rangers will be a tough game but we want to consolidate on the good start by winning against them, Insha Allah, I believe the three points will be ours at the end of the match.”

Similarly, Nasarawa United Captain Emmanuel Makama assured that he and his teammates will go out to win Wednesday’s match especially as they want to mark their return to the Lafia Stadium with a victory.

South West Derby

Away from Lafia, the South West derby which pitches Sunshine Stars against Shooting Stars is also generating lots of interest even as both teams have promised that their game will be free of all the off-the-field controversies it has always been known for.

Both teams go into the match with different starts to the new season. While 3SC claimed maximum points with a win over Lobi Stars in Ibadan, Sunshine Stars narrowly lost 1-0 to former champions, Enyimba in Calabar.

Indeed, passion and emotion will be in full swing as both teams battle for the precious three points.

Both teams have clashed several times in competitive and friendly situations, with the matches producing spectacular results and performances.

In the last four meetings, both teams have managed 2 wins and 2 defeats as they won their home matches and lost away from home.

Other games

In Uyo, at the ‘Nest of Champions, Akwa United will host Rivers United in a potentially grudge match

The two sides met twice last season in the NPFL with the Pride of Rivers winning both fixtures in Port Harcourt and Uyo, respectively.

This time, Akwa United are desperate not to allow for a repeat especially as they are keen to register their first win of the season in front of their fans.

Also, high-flying MFM FC are hoping they can cause some form of upset against the troubled FC Ifeanyi Ubah team in Nnewi.

Before departing Lagos, MFM FC left winger, Sikiru Olatunbosun, stated that his team will not taste defeat in Nnewi this Wednesday against FC Ifeanyiubah.

“We are going to Ifeanyi Ubah to fight for the three points. The worst we can get in the match is to draw but I’m very confident we will not lose in Nnewi although it’s not going to that easy,” the Lagos born skillful striker told

Nigeria Professional Football League – Week Two

Fixtures And Venues

Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Abia Warriors Vs Kastina United

Umuahia Township Stadium, Umuahia

Sunshine Stars Vs Shooting Stars

Akure Township Stadium, Akure

Plateau United Vs Enyimba FC

Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos

Gombe United Vs Remo Stars

Pantami Stadium, Gombe

Nasarawa United Vs Enugu Rangers

Lafia City Stadium, Lafia

Lobi Stars Vs Kano Pillars

Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi

Niger Tornadoes Vs ABS FC

Confluence Stadium, Lokoja

FC Ifeanyi Ubah Vs MFM FC

Ifeanyi Ubah International Stadium, Nnewi

Akwa United Vs Rivers United

Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo

Elkanemi Warriors Vs Wikki Tourists

Elkanemi Sports Complex, Maiduguri

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