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Pillars, 12 others seek first wins as NPFL enters week 2

Week two matches of the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) season will be held this weekend with Kano Pillars and 12 other clubs aiming…

Week two matches of the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) season will be held this weekend with Kano Pillars and 12 other clubs aiming for their first victories of the season.

The opening fixtures saw seven wins, one draw while two matches were postponed due to Rivers United and Bendel Insurance continental engagements.

But this weekend, all the 10 clubs will be in action.

Kano Pillars vs Katsina Utd

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This is a top north-western derby between two major rivals. Kano Pillars marked their return to the NPFL with a slim 0-1 loss to Sunshine Stars in Akure while Katsina United managed to win 1-0 at home against Kwara United. The visitors have only defeated their neighbours once in five games while drawing two others.

Doma Utd vs Bayelsa Utd

At the Pantami Township Stadium, table toppers, Bayelsa United will seek to secure their first win over their hosts. In two previous meetings, Doma United won one while drawing the other. The home side who lost their first match of the season 2-1 to Rangers will bank on home advantage to win their first match of the campaign. They had defeated Bayelsa United 2-1 at home in April 2023.

Bendel Insurance vs Shooting Stars

This game will be the first league match for the ‘Benin Arsenals’ this season following their continental campaign. Their opponents, Shooting Star, will be brimming with confidence after defeating Plateau United in the opening week. Both sides have won a game each and drawn two in their last four meetings.

Gombe Utd vs Enyimba

Gombe United who were 1-2 losers at Abia Warriors in week one will welcome title holders Enyimba to the Pantami Stadium. Enyimba will be aiming to maintain their dominance over the ‘Desert Scorpions’. The last meeting between the two sides in Aba ended 5-0 in favour of the ‘Peoples Elephants’. Gombe United have conceded 11 while scoring only two goals against Enyimba. This will give the visitors the confidence to go for all three points.

Lobi Stars vs Sunshine Stars

It is a battle of stars as Sunshine Stars attempt to dim Lobi Stars at the Lafia Township stadium. Lobi drew their first match at Heartland but Sunshine Stars edged Pillars n Akure. The last five meetings have ended in three wins for Sunshine Stars and a win and draw for Lobi Stars.

Akwa Utd vs Sporting Lagos

This will be a tricky clash as NPFL debutants, Sporting Lagos will seek to record its second win against Akwa United at the Godswill Akpabio stadium. The debutants defeated Gombe United 2-0 and are poised for their second win against Akwa who slumped to a 3-5 loss at Bayelsa United.

Niger Tornadoes vs Rivers Utd

Still basking in the euphoria of their Confederation Cup success, Rivers United will like to open their season with a win against the ‘Ikon Allah’ boys in Kaduna. The 2021/22 champions have won three games and drew two in their last five meetings with Tornadoes.

Remo Stars vs Enugu Rangers

Seven time league winners, Enugu Rangers take a trip to Remo Stars stadium in Ikenne to battle the Sky Blue Stars. The home side after their flop in the continent will like to kick off their campaign with a win against Rangers who turned back Doma United 2-1.

Kwara United vs Abia Warriors

After their opening day loss to Katsina United, the ‘Afonja Warriors’ will go all out for the maximum points against the warriors from Abia State. However, the visitors who edged Tornadoes 1-0 will target back-to-back wins in Ilorin. These two sides have matched each other equally with a win each and three draws.

Plateau United vs Heartland

The 2017 champions, Plateau United lost their first game and will attempt to make amends by winning all three points against Heartland who settled for a 2-2 draw with Lobi Stars in their week one clash in Owerri. In their last five matches, they recorded two wins each and one draw.

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