The matchday four of the 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has interesting fixtures where the trio of Lobi Stars, Sporting Lagos and Bendel Insurance will want to remain defeated in the league as the race for N150m prize money heats up.
The SportsBay previews the MatchDay four fixtures holding this weekend across match venues.
Lobi Stars vs Abia Warriors
Seventh-placed Lobi Stars will play host to third-placed Abia Warriors at their adopted home, Lafia Township Stadium.
The visitors who have tasted one defeat this season in a 1-0 loss to Kwara United have an uphill task to end a five away games winless run against a Lobi side who is undefeated in their last three games.
The last five games has seen Abia Warriors securing three wins while Lobi Stars have two wins. Based on available statistics, the visitors despite their poor record in recent away games are more likely to win this game.
Remo Stars vs Sporting Lagos
This is a mouthwatering South-West derby that will take place at the Remo Stars stadium.
The new kids on the block, Sporting Lagos, had met their hosts in the Naija Super Eight tournament. The Lagos-based club crowned the fairy-tale run in the tournament with the ultimate prize after beating Remo Stars 4-2 via a penalty shootout.
This encounter will be their first in the league and Remo Stars is expected to get their pound of flesh with a win while the visitors will attempt to go back to the top of the table.
Akwa United vs Shooting Stars
Akwa United will seek to extend their record at home having not lost any of their last seven home matches.
The game billed to be held at the Eket Sports stadium affords the home side to earn a third win over their visitors. The previous five games has seen Akwa United winning two games while Shooting Stars have one win.
Both teams lost their last league game and it is expected they will use this game to return to winning ways.
Kwara United vs Enugu Rangers
The hosts are high in confidence as they have successfully kept a clean sheet in their last two games and haven’t lost any of their last home three matches.
This record will be put to the test when they face Enugu Rangers at the Kwara Sports Complex. Both sides have matched each other with the same number of wins in the last five games. In three games played at home, Kwara United have two wins and a draw.
Plateau United vs Sunshine Stars
At the Jos International Stadium, Plateau United have the chance to return to winning ways after losing to Bendel Insurance last week.
The hosts have been quite successful at home when playing against Sunshine Stars but the Ondo side has won more games. It is predicted that this game will see a direct winner.
Niger Tornadoes vs Bayelsa United
At the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Niger Tornadoes will trade tackles with Bayelsa United who have lost their last three away games.
Both sides are not doing so well in the league as they have each won just a game so far. Bayelsa United defeated Akwa United on the opening match day while Tornadoes surprisingly defeated Rivers United on matchday two.
This fixture is expected to end in a draw more than in a win for either side. The last five games have seen both win a game each with three draws. Tornadoes last defeated Bayelsa in February 2009 which ended 3-0.
Kano Pillars vs Rivers United
This will be one of the biggest clashes this weekend as the former champions tackle each other at the Sani Abacha stadium.
Kano Pillars who haven’t lost any of their last 8 home matches have a huge task at hand against Rivers United who have successfully kept a clean sheet in their last two games while remaining unbeaten.
The ‘Mai Gida’ are currently rooted in the relegation zone and a poor record against the visitors leaves the team in limbo.
The only win Kano Pillars have against Rivers United is in January 2021 while the latter has racked up four wins in the last five games.
Gombe United vs Bendel Insurance
The table toppers, Bendel Insurance have been unable to defeat Gombe United in the last three games which had ended goalless.
Last season, the Benin Arsenal had begun the season winning all their first five matches but a defensive Gombe United ended that run. Both sides defeated each other last in 2007. Just four goals, two apiece have been scored in five games and this occurred in 2007 during the duo’s participation in the Nigeria National League (NNL).
Heartland vs Katsina United
Katsina United will be desirous to end a record of having to lose their last 7 away matches against a team that hasn’t lost any of their last seven home games.
The game scheduled at the Dan Anyiam Stadium will see the home side build on their good record against their visitors to move away from the relegation zone as the last five games have seen the hosts winning two games and drawing two others.
Meanwhile, the game between Doma United and Enyimba scheduled to be held at the Pantami Stadium has been postponed due to the People’s Elephants’ participation in the inaugural edition of the African Football League.
The match will now hold at a later date while Doma United will now shift their attention to the NPFL matchday five encounter against Shooting Stars in Ibadan.