Matchday 22: Plateau United seek to consolidate top spot
By Mohammed Yusuf Suleiman
Nine matches hold this Sunday which is Matchday 22 of the 2019/20 season of the Nigeria Professional Football League ( NPFL) with Plateau United seeking to consolidate their position at the top when they take on Jigawa Golden Stars who are battling to stay in the top division as they are placed 18th on the 20 team table.
Rivers United, who are one point behind Plateau United in second position will be hoping the leaders slip up as they will go top if they are able to get a win away at Heartland FC of Owerri. The Port Harcourt based side are however facing a team that is keen on building on the point picked away in Lagos against MFM FC with a win at home.
Levelled on same point with Rivers United in second position is Lobi Stars that has been challenging for the top against Plateau. The draw against Plateau United at home on Matchday 21 means they have little or no margin for error against Kwara United in Ilorin.
Kwara United are placed 14th on the log with staying in the NPFL their main priority with just one point separating them from Abia Warriors, on the 17th spot from where the drop to the second division starts. A chance to make it four points from two games will no doubt spur them on after their 0-0 draw away to Dakkada FC in Uyo.
Enugu Rangers with top marksman Israel Abia who has nine goals so far with his strike against Nasarawa United three days ago in a 1-2 loss away in Lafia have all to play for when they take on bottom of the table Adamawa United.
Adamawa United are four points away from safety and the newly promoted side will have to put in a performance if they are to get anything from a Rangers team that have lost just twice in their last seven games.
In Nnewi, it will be a clash between Sharp Uzoigwe of FC IfeanyiUbah and Abayomi Folarin of MFM FC as both goalkeepers locked on seven clean sheets each will be hoping to extend it when their teams clash this weekend. Both teams are level on same point and separated on the log by one place base on MFM FC superior goal difference.
Buoyed by two big wins against Enyimba FC and Enugu Rangers respectively, Nasarawa United will take on Wikki Tourist in Bauchi in search of more points to aid their climb up the table after moving out of the relegation zone for the first time this season.
Both teams are tied on same points with same goal difference although Nasarawa United are placed 13th with Wikki on 14th position ahead. Their clash could see one go ahead of the other.
Abia Warriors will play behind closed doors following their sanctioning after the disruption of their game against Enyimba in Umuahia. They are up against the league top scorer Ndidfreke Effiong who has ten goals for Akwa United this season in a clash where the visitors will fancy their chances of nicking at least a point.
16th placed Warri Wolves are away from the drop zone on goal difference and against Sunshine Stars at their home ground, a lot is at stake in their quest to pull away from the relegation zone. However 5th placed Sunshine Stars have shown this season that they are capable of picking points away from home.