By Johnny Edward:
Reigning Nigerian Professional League champions Enugu Rangers face a daunting task on Sunday when they travel to Port Harcourt to face last season's runners-up Rivers United at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, a venue where United have never lost a competitive game.
The Imama Amapakabo-led champions will be kee to record consecutive wins for the first time this season (their fourth win of the campaign) against Rivers United,
currently placed 16th in the NPFL standings with 11 points from nine matches.
Last season both teams emerged winners in the home fixture and from their last 18 meetings they have recorded seven wins each, with four ending in draws. Rangers are in 14th place with two games in hand just like their hosts.
Fourth-placed MFM will be eager to maintain their unbeaten run in front of their home fans at the 'Soccer Temple' in Agege on Sunday when they take on Remo Stars. The Olukoya Boys lost on the road to Katsina United in midweek, their third defeat of the season after nine games while Fatai Osho's side will be targeting his first win in charge of the team after recording three straight 1-1 draws against Lobi Stars, Shooting Stars and Kano Pillars.
At the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano Pillars, unbeaten in their last four games, will be hoping to pile more misery on Enyimba of Aba who have failed to win in their last three games. The Sai Masu Gida snatched a crucial point on the road on Wednesday away to Remo Stars in Sagamu while Enyimba were held to a goalless draw by Shooting Stars at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar, the People's Elephant's temporary home.
At the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan, Shooting Stars, winless in their last four games, host current NPFL leaders Plateau United as they search for their third win of the season. The Oluyole Warriors' only wins this season have come against Lobi Stars and Rivers United in front of their home fans. Plateau have recorded only one win, two draws and two defeats in their five away games this season.
Lobi Stars will be keen to inflict a sixth league defeat on Gombe United who face a huge task against the Markudi side at the Aper Aku Stadium. Lobi have not lost at home this season. They have recorded four wins and a draw in their five home matches this season.
FC Ifeanyiubah will look to record their fourth win of the campaign against Abia Warriors at the FC IfeanyiUbah International Stadium.
Other fixtures on Sunday will see Niger Tornadoes take on Nasarawa United at the Bako Kontagora Stadium in a Northern derby, while Akwa United's impressive home form will be put to the test by El-Kanemi Warriors. Sunshine Stars will aim to bounce back to winning ways after their 3-1 defeat away to El Kanemi Warriors when they host Wikki Tourists.
NPFL MATCHDAY 12 FIXTURES
Niger Tornadoes vs Nasarawa United
FC IfeanyiUbah vs Abia Warriors
Akwa United vs El-Kanemi Warriors
Lobi Stars vs Gombe United
ABS F.C. vs Katsina United
Rivers United vs Enugu Rangers
Kano Pillars vs Enyimba
Sunshine Stars vs Wikki Tourists FC
Shooting Stars vs Plateau United
MFM FC vs Remo Stars