Three rounds of matches to go and Rivers United already champions, the contest for two more continental spots signpost Saturday and Sunday matches of this season’s Nigeria Professional Football League.
Also of significance is the battle against relegation with Lagos side MFM likely to be out of the topflight by Sunday.
Plateau United’s second spot will be confirmed if they beat Lobi Stars at the New Jos Stadium on Sunday. The Tin City team go into Matchday 36 having established an eight-point advantage over third placed Remo Stars.
Having triumphed 2-0 in the first leg in Makudi, Plateau look set for six points in this tie.
Remo Stars have Enyimba to worry about at their Ikenne-Remo grounds on Sunday in their push for No 3 spot and CAF Confederation Cup participation. Remo have just one point advantage going into this match. So victory is non-negotiable for either side.
Enyimba won the first leg 2-1.
In-between Remo Stars and Enyimba on the log are Rangers, who also are a point shy of the Sky Blue Stars. The Flying Antelopes will aim to fly over Shooting Stars on Saturday at the Awka City Stadium.
The Oluyole Warriors are not safe from relegation yet, being only a point above the drop zone. And they are also bad travellers winning only in Lagos (1-0 against MFM) all season long.
Also in the contest for third place are Kwara United, who have the same points as Rangers and Enyimba, while Sunshine Stars and outgoing champions Akwa United are a point short.
Kwara United wait for another United – Nasarawa – in Ilorin on Sunday, while Sunshine Stars are away to Heartland and Akwa United travel to Bauchi to face Wikki Tourists.
With six points behind the third placed team, Nasarawa know that continental football next season is a mirage. But they will keep trying.
Apart from last-on-the-log MFM, there are other fixtures to lay focus including that between Dakkada and Katsina United. While the second Akwa Ibom State team in the elite division may be on their way out, Katsina United have a better survival chance. But being two points above the drop zone with three matches to go is cause for worry.
Heartland and Niger Tornadoes complete the bottom four, while Abia Warriors have worries as well.
Saturday’s fixtures: Dakkada FC v Katsina United, Abia Warriors v Gombe United, Heartland v Sunshine Stars, Rangers v Shooting Stars (4 pm)
Sunday’s games: Plateau United v Lobi Stars, Rivers United v Kano Pillars, MFM v Niger Tornadoes, Remo Stars v Enyimba, Wikki Tourists v Akwa United, Kwara United v Nasarawa United (all 4 pm)