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NPFL: Rangers, Enyimba Clash In Oriental Derby; MFM Host Heartland

NPFL: Rangers, Enyimba Clash In Oriental Derby; MFM Host Heartland

By Adeboye Amosu:  The Cathedral’ Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu, will be the main centre of attraction on Sunday as oriental rivals, Enugu Rangers and Enyimba clash in a Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL) matchday-12 encounter, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Both teams have won the most titles in the history of the NPFL (seven each) and will be all out to win this game and claim bragging rights.
Enyimba head into the game in fine form coming from their 2-0 away win against Benin’s Energie FC in the CAF Champions League on Wednesday and are unbeaten in their last eight  NPFL games.
It will be the first time   Enugu Rangers coach Gbenga Ogunbote who was in charge of Enyimba last season will be facing his former club in the league this season.
His team picked a point against one of his former clubs, Sunshine Stars in Akure last Sunday and he will be gunning for maximum points in this game.
Nnewi is the venue of another oriental derby with FC Ifeanyiubah and Abia Warriors up against each other.
Matches between the two teams have  always been a keenly contested affair and this may not be an exception.
The two league games between the two sides last season ended in a 0-0 and 2-2 draw.
In Damaturu, league leaders Kano Pillars will seek to consolidate their hold on top of the table when they face Yobe Desert Stars.
The Sai Masu Gida are unbeaten in their last eight games and will bank on the resourcefulness of league top scorer, Junior Lokosa, who has scored 10 goals in 11 NPFL games this season to deliver the goods once again.
Champions, Plateau United, will return to league action with an away game against Niger Tornadoes at the Bako Kontagora Stadium, Minna.
The Jos club lost 1-0 to Enyimba in their last league game and also went down to a 4-2 defeat against Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia in the CAF Champions League on Tuesday.
Second placed Lobi Stars will welcome last season’s top scorer, Anthony Okpotu, back to their fold when they host Katsina United at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi.
Okpotu who was away on international duty at the start of the season return to training this week and is now expected to share goal scoring responsibilities with Samad Kadiri who has notched five goals so far for the Makurdi club.
In  Ilorin, the attention will be on Kwara United head coach, John Obuh when his team take on El-Kanemi Warriors.
Obuh was handed a three-match ultimatum two weeks ago by the management of the club to turn things around following a 1-0  home defeat to River United and lost the first of the three games to Abia Warriors last weekend.
The Harmony Boys occupy last position in the NPFL table.
The ‘Soccer Temple,’ Agege Stadium Lagos, will host the encounter between MFM FC and Heartland, while Go Round will entertain Sunshine Stars at the Krisdera Stadium in Omoku.
In another matchday 12 fixture, struggling Wikki Tourists will file out  against fifth placed Rivers United at the new Jos Stadium.
On Monday, Akwa United who are without a win in their last two NPFL games will host Nasarawa United at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.
The game was shifted to Monday by the League Management Company after the Promise Keepers arrived the country on Saturday  from Tunisia where they played against Al Ittihad of Tunisia in the CAF Confederation Cup.
NPFL WEEK 12 FIXTURES
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Lobi Stars  vs Katsina United
Wikki Tourists vs Rivers United
FC Ifeanyiubah vs Abia Warriors
Kwara Utd  vs El-Kanemi Warriors
Niger Tornadoes  vs Plateau United
Yobe Desert Stars vs Kano Pillars
Go Round FC vs Sunshine Stars
Enugu Rangers  vs Enyimba
MFM FC vs Heartland.
Monday, March 12, 2018
Akwa United vs Nasarawa United

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