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MATCHDAY: NPFL Matchday 12 preview

NPFL biggest match of the week is when the table toppers Plateau united face the defending champions Enyimba at the new Jos Stadium, Plateau state.

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NPFL biggest match of the week is when the table toppers Plateau united

face the defending champions Enyimba at the new Jos Stadium, Plateau state.

Enyimba soccerhub

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The recent cold weather that spread across the country is expected to give way for some sizzling hot footballing action in Nigeria’s top flight, the first match day of the new year with Jos being the cynosure of all eyes.

United head coach Abdu Maikaba has already laid down the gauntlet for his visitors, insisting that his side will beat them on Sunday, regardless of their humiliating loss to Abia Warriors last time out.

“Even with smaller clubs, I’ve beaten Enyimba. We don’t have to talk too much about them, if we respect them so much, we won’t beat them but for sure, we will beat them on Sunday,” Maikaba told www.npfl.ng.

Maikaba should welcome back his topscorer Ibrahim Mustapha who will be facing Enyimba for the first time since he left the club last summer. Jos boy Reuben Bala should line out for the People’s Elephant against his former side.

Sunday’s other big game will be at the Okigwe Stadium where the traditional Oriental Derby takes centre stage between Heartland and Rangers. Heartland seem to have weathered an early storm from their poor start to the season though they still hover above the relegation zone and they will face a Rangers side winless after six games under Salisu Yusuf.

Lobi Stars had their unbeaten run snapped last weekend by Akwa United but they will go again on Sunday when head coach Gbenga Ogunbote welcomes his former employers Sunshine Stars to the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi. Former Sunshine striker Sikiru Alimi is expected to return from injury for Ogunbote’s side while Moses Ocheje who also played for Ogunbote while at Sunshine in 2011/12 should be in goal for Lobi Stars.

Rivers United will hope to consolidate on their impressive away win over Adamawa United last weekend when they host MFM FC in Port Harcourt. Their visitors failed to make the most of home advantage against Nasarawa United on New Year’s day and face a daunting task at an unhappy hunting ground.

Dakkada FC are still enjoying a dream run in their maiden NPFL season and Caleb Esu’s side are expected to claim maximum points for the first time in four games when manager-less Adamawa United come calling at the Nest of Champions in Uyo.

Kwara United’s resolve at finding their feet in the top flight will be further tested when they host a stubborn Abia Warriors side in Ilorin on Sunday while Wikki Tourists of Bauchi will host bad travellers Katsina United at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe.

Kano Pillars now have the current longest unbeaten streak in the league as they have remained impregnable since the return of Rabiu Ali from suspension. They face Warri Wolves at the Sani Abacha Stadium on Sunday with Ewenike Achibi who is now reborn in the Pillars midfield facing his former club.

Nasarawa United were winless in the league until their success over Heartland two weeks ago. They will now bid to make it three games unbeaten when FC Ifeanyiubah, their regular customers come visiting at the Lafia City Stadium.

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