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NPFL: Will Plateau United displace Rivers United at No 1?

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A week into the season’s break, Rivers United hold on to their No 1 spot, which they had established since topping the table on Matchday 15. Their fifth straight week at the helm is however being challenged by 2017 champions Plateau United, who led the rest of the field in the 2019/20 season at the time COVID-19 shutdown caused its termination. Just one point separate both frontrunners as they go into this weekend’s clashes.

The United of Plateau have a chance to displace their United counterparts of Rivers as the formers’ fixture hold a day earlier than their rivals. Plateau United are in Aba to faceoff with Enyimba.

Previously dreaded, the twice African champions and record winners of the domestic league, Enyimba appear to have seen better days. Their last time in the last four of CAF Champions League was 11 year ago. Coached by one of Nigeria’s respected internationals, Finidi George, Enyimba are eighth on the log at the domestic scene and have lost seven times (including at home to Rivers United) in 17 matches this season.

Their last outing last Sunday away to Dakkada FC ended in a lone goal defeat. So expect a more determined squad filing out this time against Plateau United.

The Jos side were delightful in on the road two matchdays ago beating Lobi Stars in Makurdi 2-0, and returned home to post another victory against Katsina United.

Also coming up on Saturday is the battle in Minna where Niger Tornadoes will strive to improve their lot. Placed second among the relegation four, Tornadoes have not tasted victory since beating Sunshine Stars 1-0 on Matchday 13, picking a point in their last four games.

Their opponents Remo Stars dazzled their fans and neutrals in the early days of the season as they raced to the top of the table. Not until Matchday 8 did Sky Blue Stars give in at the summit to Rivers United, who have then established themselves as the pacesetters four weeks later.

From not losing until Matchday 12, Remo Stars have gone on to drop maximum points in three of their last five fixtures. And that included home defeat to defending champions Akwa United.

Saturday’s fixtures: Enyimba v Plateau United, Niger Tornadoes v Remo Stars (both 4 pm)

Sunday’s 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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