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NPFL resumes today as relegation-threatened Doma Utd face Kano Pillar

The 2023/24 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season will resume today following a month-long break with ten games across centres in the country. Enugu Rangers,…

The 2023/24 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season will resume today following a month-long break with ten games across centres in the country.

Enugu Rangers, Remo Stars, Enyimba, and Shooting Stars were leading the title race after 32 games before the league was paused to allow Rivers United, involved in continental matches, to catch up on their outstanding NPFL games.

Doma United, currently in 15th place, face a tough challenge to secure their position this season. Their upcoming match against 10th-placed Pillars in Kano will be a thrilling northern derby at the Sani Abacha Stadium. While Kano Pillars lost to Doma United in a previous league match, they emerged victorious in the President’s Cup. Doma United has struggled with away games this season, with only two wins, but they aim to end their four-game winless streak despite Pillars’ strong home record.

Elsewhere, Bayelsa United will be trading tackles with Enugu Rangers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium as they bid to continue their title chase without defeat. In their previous encounter, Bayelsa United secured a 2-0 victory over Rangers who have been formidable at home, winning 14 out of their last 16 home games, while Bayelsa has struggled on the road, managing only one win in 16 matches.

It’s set to be an intense battle when Enyimba and Abia Warriors meet in the Oriental derby. Coach Olarenwaju, Enyimba’s new head coach, will face his first official challenge in this local derby. Enyimba aims to secure all three points to stay close to the league leaders after winning the reverse fixture. Enyimba has historically dominated with 10 wins in their 16 meetings, while Abia Warriors have only claimed three victories. This season, Enyimba has been strong in derbies, winning three and drawing one of their last four, while Abia Warriors have two wins and three defeats in five Oriental derbies.

Also, the clash between relegation-threatened Gombe United and Heartland at the Awka City Stadium today is crucial for both teams. This match will play a significant role in determining the gap between the two sides in the final six matches of the season. Historically, Gombe United holds the advantage with six wins in their 13 encounters, while Heartland has secured four victories and three draws.

At the other end of the standings, the bottom-two sides, Heartland and Gombe United go head-to-head at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri just as Champions in 2021, Akwa United, find themselves below the red line and in trouble of being relegated. They play on the road at Lobi Stars where they have failed to avoid defeat in their last 12 trips.

It will be noted that so far this season, 320 games have been played, yielding 221 home wins, 23 away wins, and 76 draws with 680 goals, an average of 2.1 goals per match. Sikiru Alimi currently leads the scoring charts with 14 goals.

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