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Rangers face tough test against age-old rivals 3SC

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Leaders Enugu Rangers have a mountain to climb in cementing their place at the top of the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) table as they face Shooting Stars (3SC) at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan on Wednesday (today).

The Flying Antelopes’ charge for an eighth NPFL title and the first since 2016 received a boost on Monday after they were awarded three points and three goals as a result of Enyimba’s refusal to complete their match-day 35 derby in Enugu.

That decision takes them up to 64 points in the table, five points above Enyimba and Remo Stars who are second and third with 59 points each.

Fidelis Ilechukwu’s men must avoid defeat during the match-day 36 encounter in Ibadan today in order to prevent their challengers from cutting the gap on them.

They face an in-form 3SC who are also lurking behind Remo and Enyimba for a place on the continent next season.

NPFL commentator, Ralph Chidozie-George, believes the Flying Antelopes will be on their way to winning their eighth title if they avoid defeat in Ibadan.

“Enugu Rangers still have work to do, they are leading at the moment but the most important thing they can do is to get a draw in Ibadan and maybe they can begin to look home and dry in the title race. But at the moment, nothing is decided”.

While Rangers seek a positive result in Ibadan, reigning Champions Enyimba will be nursing the wounds of the NPFL board verdict when they face relegation-threatened Bayelsa United in Aba while Remo Stars will also bring out their amour against another club facing relegation Heartland.

For Heartland, a defeat in Ikenne will condemn them to second-tier football next season.

In other key battles in the relegation zone, 16th-placed Sporting Lagos will welcome Plateau United to the Mobolaji Johnson Arena as they hope to get a win that will boost their chances of survival while 15th-placed Akwa United are at home to Katsina United.

Both Sporting and Akwa have 43 points and are only above the drop zone by goal difference.

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