`NPFL

5 Things To Watch Out For On NPFL Matchday 18

 

Ahead of matchday 18 of the Nigeria Professional Football League, Completesportsnigeria.com's JAMES AGBEREBI highlights FIVE interesting things to look forward to…

—El-Kanemi target second away win of the season against MFM FC at Agege Stadium

Second-placed El-Kanemi Warriors will be guests to MFM FC at the Agege Stadium in matchday 18 of the Nigeria Professional Football League on Sunday.

El-Kanemi will hope to record their second away win of the season since their 1-0 victory against Abia Warriors in February.

So far, El-Kanemi have lost seven of their eight away games but are phenomenal playing at home as they have won all their nine home fixtures.

A win against MFM will see El-Kanemi temporarily go top in the league table on 33 points as Plateau United (31 points) will not be in action as their opponents Rangers will be on continental duty against Zesco in Enugu.

—ABS hope to end their five-game winless streak when they face hosts Rivers United

Newly promoted ABS have been struggling lately as they have gone five games without a win.

Their last victory was a 1-0 home win against Katsina United in early March.

In their last five games, they've lost three and drawn two. They lost 3-0 away to Remo, were held 1-1 at home by Enyimba, got bashed 4-1 by Plateau United, force to a 1-1 home draw by Gombe before losing 2-0 away to Abia Warriors.

Currently, ABS are 13th in the league table on 22 points but with two games in hand.

—Will there be another hat-trick on matchday 18?

On matchday 17, Akwa United produced one of the best performances of the season as they beat Shooting Stars 4-2 inside the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.

The star of the show was Ibrahim Alhassan who netted a first half hat-trick to give Akwa United a 4-0 half-time lead. 

Alhassan's feat means he joins the likes of Reuben Bala of Plateau United and MFM FC's striker Stephen Odey as players who have bagged hat-tricks this season.

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Bala's hat-trick was in Plateau United's 4-1 home win against ABS, while Odey netted thrice in MFM's 4-0 home win against Lobi Stars back in January.

—Can Shooting Stars, Kano Pillars and Lobi Stars maintain their unbeaten home record for this season?

Going into this weekend's fixtures, the trio of Shooting Stars, Kano Pillars and Lobi Stars have one thing in common, they are yet to lose at home this season.

After playing eight games so far at home, Lobi, 3SC and Pillars are yet to taste defeat.

Lobi have won six and drawn two, 3SC have four wins, four draws and Pillars have the best record among the three clubs with seven wins and just a draw. 

And for this weekend, Lobi welcome IfeanyiUbah inside the Emmanuel Atoung Stadium, Katsina Ala; 3SC entertain Niger Tornadoes at the Adamasingba Stadium, while Akwa United will be guests of Kano Pillars at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano for this weekend games.

—Will matchday 18 witness a high scoring game?

On matchday 17, two games – Nasarawa United vs MFM and Akwa United vs Shooting Stars recorded big scorelines.

Playing at home, Nasarawa United thrashed MFM 4-0, while Akwa United beat visiting 3SC 4-2.

Aside from these two games, the other eight games recorded low scorelines. 

Ahead of this weekend games, the question is will there be a high scoring game? 

 

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