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NPFL Preview: Leaders Enugu Rangers look forward to extend grip against Lobi Stars plus all fixtures

Enugu Rangers

Enugu Rangers will be hoping to pull clear of Wikki Tourists and Rivers United when they host Lobi Stars on match day 28

Enugu Rangers Vs Lobi Stars

Enugu Rangers will attempt to take a huge step towards the NPFL title when they host Lobi Stars at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium.

Victory for Rangers would move them to 49 points and firm their grip at the summit.

Lobi Stars supporters are well used to finishing in a mid table position in recent years, that might not be the case at the end of the current season.

As it stands, the Pride of Benue sit 6th in the table on 38 points. They are eight points adrift leaders Rangers.

They have recorded seven points in their last five games.

Rangers’ boss Imama Amakpakabo has a full selection to choose from once again this weekend.

It seems likely that he will keep faith with the same team that won 3-2 at Akwa United last weekend.

Lobi Stars have had no fitness concerns this week and as a result, they are not expected to make any changes from their usual selection.

In total, these two teams have clashed on 19 occasions since 4 June 2005.

In head-to-head statistics, The Flying Antelopes have recorded eight wins compared to nine for the Pride of Benue , while the remaining tw fixtures have finished level.

Wikki Tourists Vs Abia Warriors

Wikki Tourists will be aiming to register a win when they face Kennedy Boboye’s Abia Warriors at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium.

All eyes would be on the tie, which promises to live up to expectation.

The two talented outfits were impressive in their previous league outing, with Wikki Tourists forcing Niger Tornadoes to a one-all draw and Warriors pipping ten-man Warri Wolves one-nil.

Judging by last season’s statistics, Wikki Tourists go into this fixture as the favourites having registered a better head-to-head outcome comparatively.

The Bauchi side triumphed over Abia Warriors 2-0 on 19th August 2015.

The game will be played at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium. It will kick off at 4pm.

Warri Wolves Vs Akwa United

Warri Wolves and Akwa United will clash on Saturday in Warri in what arguably is star fixture for the Match Day 28 of the 2016 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.

Last season, the two teams were toast of fans across Nigeria following their superlative performance.

However, in the ongoing campaign  the two sides seem to have lost their magic touch.

That nonetheless, the rivalry between the Seasiders and the Promise Keepers still lingers on and a good game is expected at the Warri City Stadium.

A slim home win for Warri Wolves is what many analysts have predicted  in Saturday’s classic pairing.

In head-to-head stats, Wolves and Akwa have met in 11 league matches since 23rd November 2008.

Wolves have claimed 4 wins compared to 5 for Akwa, while two matches have been drawn.

Plateau United Vs Enyimba FC

Two sides who have been in improving form recently lock horns  at the Rwang Pam Stadium this weekend as Plateau United host Enyimba.

Enyimba sit in the top half, while the home side are in the lower zone of the table.

Plateau United have won two of their last five outings in the top flight. A draw against Akwa United and a loss at Lobi Stars leaves the team 16th in the table.

The team will be happy to be back on home soil this week, having secured majority of their points at the Rwang Pam Stadium this season.

Defending has been a real problem for Plateau United, with the team conceding 30 goals in their 26 matches so far.

Enyimba’s rejuvenated form continued last weekend, with the Paul Aigbogun’s side securing a 2-1 win over Kano Pillars in Port Harcourt, leaving them with three  wins from their last five outings.

The team has also been strong at the back, conceding 21 times – only Wikki Tourists and Rivers United have better rear guards than the CAF Champions League campaigners.

In three previous matches, Enyimba have won two times while Plateau United have beaten this weekend’s opponents just once.

Sunshine Stars Vs Rivers United

Rivers United will be hoping to take the confidence gained from successive wins into their crunch  clash with Sunshine Stars.

Stanley Eguma’s charges have beaten Niger Tornadoes and Shooting Stars in their last two games.

Eguma has admitted that his squad are feeling buoyant ahead of their trip to the Akure Township Stadium.

The Sunshine Stars faithfuls, though, have had little to shout about all season and defeat for them isn’t on their radar.

Stars who were thrashed 3-0 by Nasarawa United last weekend still fancy their chances of picking a continental ticket.

Rivers United forward Ovoke Bernard who is on trial abroad has been ruled out of the game.

March’s reverse fixture between the Owena Waves and Pride of Rivers ended 0-0.

Ikorodu United Vs Nasarawa United

Coach Kabiru Dogo will be hoping that striker Abdulrahman Bashir can continue his hot streak in front of goal when Nasarawa United are on the road to Ikorodu United on Sunday.

The former Enyimba man took his time in hitting the goal trail for the Lafia giants, but eleven goals so far has indicated that he is rediscovering the form that tempted the Solid Miners to pay for his services from  Enyimba.

Bashir will have extra responsibility on his shoulders when the team clash with the Oga Boys at the Onikan Stadium.

Ikorodu United have a daunting task in front of them. They should count on Moses Ebiye and Kabir Balogun for inspiration upfront.

Ikorodu United will not be an easy customer, as they will be looking to pick three points after failing to record a win in their last seven games.

The Solid Miners will be hoping to complete yet another double against the Oga Boys this season, after beating them at the Aper Aku Stadium in the first stanza.

Kick-off for the NPFL game, scheduled for the Onikan Stadium, is at 4pm.

Shooting Stars Vs Niger Tornadoes

Reborn Shooting Stars play Niger Tornadoes in a league fixture at the Lekan Salami Stadium.

So much is at stake for both sides in this match and hence shaping it into a must win meet.

The Oluyole Warriors will be gunning for their tenth win of the season to move out of the drop zone.

Lack of cutting edge in front of goal has partly been blamed for the recent suspect form of Niger Tornadoes, and if their shaky performance last weekend against Wikki Tourists is anything to go by then Shooting Stars can be rest assured of victory.

This will however not be a walk in the park for Shooting Stars looking at the past record between the two, with five wins each and a stalemate.

Kano Pillars Vs MFM FC

Kano Pillars will aim to put themselves back to title reckoning  when they host MFM FC at the Sani Abacha Stadium.

Sai Masu Gida are fifth in the standings with 39 points from 26 games and trail league leaders Rangers by seven points.

Baba Ganaru’s charges won two of their last five league games and come into the match on the back of a 2-1 loss against Enyimba FC.

Meanwhile, MFM FC will look to climb into the top half of the table. Three points could see them improve to fifth if other results goes their way.

They needed two spot kicks from Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and Stephen Odey to humble Heartland FC 2-0 at the Agege Stadium last time out.

Heartland FC Vs FC Ifeanyi Ubah

Heartland face a stern test to retain their top flight status when they confront FC Ifeanyi Ubah at the Dan Anyiam Stadium.

The Oriental bragging rights is on the line and that’s enough attraction for both teams in Owerri.

Struggling Heartland are 18th on the table, while FC Ifeanyi Ubah occupy 10th spot on the ladder.

The hosts are seeking to pick three points but that is likely to be fiercely challenged by the Anambra Warriors who are yet to lose in five consecutive league fixtures.

The hosts have to bounce back after last week’s 2-0 away loss to MFM FC.

For the visitors, they must push hard to continue their spark.

The game will get underway by 4pm.

[Goal]

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