Completesportsnigeria.com's JOHNNY EDWARD looks at the key events ahead of this weekend's NPFL action…
1. Can Stephen Odey make it nine goals in 10 games?
MFM striker Stephen Odey will be cynosure of football fans at the Agege stadium on Sunday when the Olukoya Boys take on Nigerian Professional Football League leaders Plateau United in a match day 14 fixture in Lagos.
Odey who was rested in MFM last's game against Wikki Tourist mid-week has found the back of the net against top sides in the NPFL this season against Enyimba International, Rangers International, ABS FC, Sunshine Stars and he will be a marked man on Sunday as Fidelis Ilechukwu's side seek their seventh win of the season against the Jos-based outfit.
The 19-year-old has scored in all four home games (against Niger Tornadoes, Lobi Stars, Rangers International and Remo Stars) he has featured in for the Olukoya Boys so far this season. So it will be difficult to bet against Odey scoring in front of his home fans. They have only failed to score in two games (against Ifeanyi Ubah and ABS) this season.
2. Will Shooting Stars, Wikki Tourists end their winless streak this weekend?
Two teams in the NPFL that have the worst form record in the are Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan and Wikki Tourist. Remo Stars could have been on this list but the recorded a massive 3-0 win
at home to ABS of Ilorin last time out.
3SC and Wikki Tourist have both failed to win a game in their last five and six games respectively. While 3SC have only kept one clean sheet in 12 games Wikki has kept four clean sheets 12 games. 3SC and Wikki Tourist occupy 18th and 20th position in the NPFL log.
3. Will there be away wins on Sunday?
The ugly trend is returning to the NPFL with home teams recording wins on their home ground. Eight games will be played across the country on Sunday and the last time away wins were recorded was on match day 9, five weeks ago.
Only four teams (Abia Warriors and Plateau United on match day 1, MFM on match day 6 against Sunshine Stars and El Kanemi Warriors agast Abia Warriors on match day 9) have won games away from home this season.
From the NPFL form guide, only three teams (Plateau United, EL Kanemi Warriors and a resurgent Enyimba) are capable of nicking points in their encounters this weekend.
4. Can 3SC compound the woes of Abia Warriors in Ibadan?
After their opening day win away to reigning champions Enugu Rangers, Abia Warriors have not won a game away from home in their last five games. Againts a Shooting Stars side who haven't lost at home this term, Abia Warriors face a daunting task. If 3SC fail to win and Wikki Tourist and Remo Stars get good results in their fixtures, the Oluyole Warriors will occupy the bottom spot for the first time this season.
5. Who will be sanctioned next?
Two coaches (Kadiri Ikhana and Kennedy Boboye), an administrator (3SC's General manager Rasheed Balogun) and a player from Plateau United Dele Ajiboye were all charged for misconduct and fined for
several offences on match day 13 in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
The League Management Company charged and fined Kano Pillars coach Kadiri Ikhana the sum of N200,000 for breaching the rules of the NPFL. Also charged was Shooting Stars Sports Club manager, Rasheed Balogun, for breaching the Code of Conduct for Club Officials.
Balogun was sanctioned for his confrontation with Plateau United’s manager Kennedy Boboye during a matchday 12 match involving 3SC and Plateau United at the Lekan Salami stadium, Adamasigba a fortnight ago. Balogun was fined N200,000. While Plateau United’s goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye was been banned for three games for failing to conduct himself in a professional manner during the encounter. Such measures will serve as a deterrent to other prospective culprit.