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NPFL: Rivers United in savannah battle to consolidate leadership

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Rivers United will be looking to step further in the race for leadership of the Nigerian topflight league. A positive result Sunday evening in Port Harcourt will see the Pride of Rivers to reach halfway in the season as No 1.
Both Rivers United and Plateau United have each garnered 38 points, but the latter have a game on hand which will be played against Gombe United in Pantami Stadium, Gombe.
The Savannah Scorpions are 10th on the log but have never lost at home this term (5-3-0) and will pull all strings to maintain their unbeaten home run. Gombe lost by a lone goal to Rangers at the latter’s temporary home in Nnewi.
For Rangers, who are in fourth place, they are eager to take advantage of Saturday’s slip up by Remo Stars, who were handed a one-goal setback in Kaduna by Niger Tornadoes. Coach Abdul Maikaba has said that his squad are condemned to snatch the maximum points in the Nest of Champions in Uyo where they will face defending champions, Akwa United.
Only a point separates both Rangers and third placed Remo Stars, while Akwa United are a point behind the Flying Antelopes of Enugu.
‘Whether we like it or not, if our aspiration is to win the league or go to the continent, we have to beat teams like Akwa United in their home ground. If we cannot do that, then, I am afraid that we can’t get to our destination’, Maikaba to his team’s media.
The forms of both sides in this battle of former league champions is similar as Rangers have harvested 11 points from 18; the same as Akwa United boast.
In the race against the drop, bottom placed MFM go to Lafia in search of redemption. Last Matchday, the Lagos side lost 1-2 in front of their fans to Kwara United. It was their fourth time of being shamed on their home ground this season.
Nasarawa United’s 5-4-0 result at home does not suggest that MFM will have the three points they required to push them off the base.
Other teams in the red zone are Katsina United, Dakkada FC and Abia Warriors, all in action this Sunday.
All the fixtures… Nasarawa United v MFM, Gombe United v Rivers United,  Katsina United v Wikki Tourist, Kwara United v Heartland, Lobi Stars v Abia Warriors, Akwa United v Rangers, Shooting Stars v Kano Pillars, Sunshine Stars v Dakkada (4 pm)
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