ABS seek win against Plateau, MFM focus on Continental ticket and heavyweights will clash in Nnewi – NPFL Matchday 35 preview.
By Shehu Idris
Away from the AITEO cup and all it’s surreal results & upsets because the 2016/17 NPFL season is gradually but scintillatingly grinding towards a nerve-racking finale.
From the Winners-take-all clash in Ilorin to the smouldering ‘Gobe’ match in Agege to the battle for redemption points in Port-Harcourt and also the toggle for Continental berths in Nnewi, Matchday 35 pans out to separate the chaff from cereal and pretenders from contenders.
ABS FC, deeply plunged in the regressive ocean of relegation which was worsened last Matchday by Enyimba, will host Plateau United, the champions-anoint with a firm hand on the beribboned cup. The Kennedy Boboye’s boys are currently soaring in form, wheeling a 5-game unbeaten run of 3 home wins and 2 away draws (in Kano and Markurdi). Both sides need something from this encounter but for obviously distinct reasons, one for salvation and the other for coronation.
Another clash of the opposite ends of the table will be staged at the Agege Stadium, MFM FC without the talented duo of Steven Odey and Sikiru Olatunbosun and without the superb form to keep pushing for the title will host Gombe United and their nursed hope for survival. The desert Scorpions are currently the nearest team to the relegated Remo Stars on the log. They must gather points indiscriminately if they hope to keep their NPFL status.
About NPFL status, Rivers United must win against their temporary neighbours, Enyimba to keep theirs. It’s been the reverse of last season’s performance for the ‘Prides of River’. A gradual plummeting from vying for a place in the CAF champions league earlier this season to struggling with the rope of relegation. Enyimba, however, are having a good season. Jousting for a continental ticket and are tied on points with Akwa United with just two points adrift second-placed MFM.
Another team two points adrift MFM, Akwa United will be travelling to Nnewi to face the Money-powered Ifeanyi Ubah in a tossle for Continental tickets. Anambra Warriors who are currently trailing the top 3 with 4 points must make this killing against an impressive Akwa United side that’ll be playing without their talismanic midfielder Alhassan Ibrahim.
Rangers Int’l FC v Katsina United
Wikki Tourist v Remo Stars
Kano Pillars v Abia Warriors
Shooting Stars SC v Nasarawa United
Lobi Stars v El-Kanemi Warriors
Sunshine Stars v Niger Tornadoes