The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is gradually getting more intense and more drama is expected to unfold during Match day 27 fixtures this weekend.
One of the biggest talking points from last weekend’s games was the historic result in Ilorin where Kwara United picked their first victory in seven years over League Toppers Rivers United.
Meanwhile, attention will this weekend be at the Nest of Champions where Akwa United will be hosting Findi George’s Enyimba on Sunday.
Top four picks
Akwa United vs Enyimba
After a halt to Akwa United’s six games unbeaten streak following their loss to Katsina United, coach Aiyen’s men will hope to start another good run when they face Enyimba at the Nest of Champions, Uyo.
The game between both sides might determine who stays in the sixth position as Akwa United with 39 points is a point higher than Enyimba that has 38 points in the sixth and seventh position respectively.
Having met 19 times in the last 10 years, Enyimba has defeated the Uyo based side more with a record of eight victories while Akwa United has won six times. They both drew five times.
The last time Akwa United suffered a home defeat to Enyimba was a lone goal loss in 2016 scored by Pyagbara Christian. After that, Enyimba never picked a point in Uyo.
However, the Promise Keepers began the month with a defeat compared to April where they picked three victories and draws in a total of six games.
Meanwhile, Enyimba lost all its away games last month which means, a repetition might occur for the Peoples Elephants in Uyo.
A common thing noticeable between both sides is their recent goal scoring prowess, Enyimba scored a total of 12 goals the highest goals scored in the last three months and conceded seven similar to Akwa United who have also got their goals scoring form back.
Probably, there might be goals galore from both sides in Uyo.
Players to watch
Akwa United; Babatunde Bello, Seth Mayi and Ubong Friday
Enyimba; Emeka Obioma, Victor Mbaoma and Austin Oladapo
Akwa United; Sixth, 39 points
Enyimba; Seventh, 38 points
Enugu Rangers vs Heartland
There is another Oriental Derby this weekend in Awka between Enugu Rangers and relegation battlers, Heartland of Owerri.
Just as Rangers want this game to keep their continental dreams alive, Heartland needs this more to stay away from the likes of Mfm and Kano Pillars in the relegation zone.
Regarded as one of the high profile derbies in the country, these two sides have met 18 times in the last 10 years in the league. Rangers have won nine times while Heartland has recorded victory seven times with two draws to both sides.
A game with close range differences. The last time they ever recorded a draw was in 2016 at Enugu.
The first leg match at Owerri was the first time both sides will play a three-goal margin game in 10 years.
Heartland acquired more points than Rangers in both sides’ last five games in the league. Rangers had one victory, two defeats and two draws while Heartland had two victories, two draws and one defeat.
Their current performances slightly puts Heartland in a good stead to pick at least a point in Awka.
Players to watch
Enugu Rangers; Shedrack Aseigbu, Ossy Martins and Chidiebere Nwobodo
Heartland; Murphy Ndukwu, Nonso Nzediegwu and Nwaodu Chukwudi
Rangers; fourth, 42points
Heartland; 18th, 28points
Nasarawa vs Plateau
Nasarawa United will be hosting Plateau United at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa stadium, Bauchi on Sunday.
Having played each other 14 times in the last six years, Plateau United has won eight times leaving Nasarawa United with four victories while both teams shared the spoils twice.
Being a Northern derby, Nasarawa United will hope to get a victory so as they look to move further away from the relegation zone.
Meanwhile, Plateau United haven’t been impressive so far in their last five games in the league, they managed to pick just one point on the road last month.
Players to watch
Nasarawa United; Tochukwu Micheal, King Osanga and Chinedu Ohanachom
Plateau United; Jesse Akila, Izuchukwu Chimezie and Sunday Anthony
Nasarawa; 13th, 32 points
Plateau United; second, 51 points
Rivers United vs MFM
The Olukoya Boys will play league toppers, Rivers United at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium on Sunday.
MFM are presently rock bottom in the 20th position and badly need a miracle to steer away from the dreaded Relegation zone.
Meanwhile, Rivers United have only drop two points at home so far this season which means, they would likely feast on the hapless Olukoya Boys
In their last encounter Rivers United came to Lagos and beat MFM 3-1 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Players to watch
Rivers United; Nyima Nwagua, Rafiu Ishaq Kayode and Joseph Onoja
MFM; Oladayo Alabi, Oluwaseun Badejo and Micah Ojodomo
Rivers United; First, 55 points
MFM; 20th, 24 points
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