NPFL Matchday 21 Preview: Ahmed Musa To Make His Debut, As Akwa United Hope to Remain Top

Action returns this weekend in the NPFL, with Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa ready to make his returning debut for Kano Pillars against visiting Adamawa United.
Leaders Akwa United will engage city rivals Dakkada FC in what promises to be an exciting derby.
There are nine fixtures available this weekend, with Abia Warriors – Enyimba game postponed due to Aba Elephants’ involvement in the CAF Confederation Cup on Sunday.
Kwara United play host to Abdu Maikaba’s Plateau United and will fancy a chance of returning to the top, if results from other match centres go their way.
Here is our Matchday 21 preview and what the outcome could mean for each team.
Lobi Stars – FC Ifeanyi Ubah
The misery could continue for Ifeanyi Ubah who visit Lobi Stars in Markudi for their matchday 21 tie. Anambra Warriors currently sit 19th on the log and will to grind out fantastic results in this second stanza to finish the season well. However, they’ve managed just four points away from home this season, including a point from their 2-2 draw against Enyimba.
Meanwhile, Lobi Stars who started the season superbly have somehow slowed down, but will look to take the maximum points on Sunday. Lobi currently occupy 11th position, though with a game to spare.
◉Enugu Rangers – Rivers United
Rivers United is one the teams that have occupied the top spot this season and are just two points away, going into this game. Mid-season signing Sunday Adetunji, who opened his goal scoring account against Enyimba has already proven to be a quality addition to the side and perhaps what the Port Harcourt-based side need as they continue pushing for the title.
Meanwhile, Rangers sit at fifth place with 33 points though they have a game in hand. The host haven’t done badly at home this season, neither are they perfect. They’ve dropped just two points – gathering 25 from a possible 27.
Rangers and Rivers United sit fifth and fourth respectively, and a draw at the Cathedral won’t be a surprise.
◉Heartland – Katsina United
Elsewhere in Owerri, Heartland will be welcoming Katsina United to the Dan Anyiam stadium.
The Naze Millionaires started slowly, before finally engaging the forward gear and are now eighth on the table. Heartland are not the most deadly team at home, as they’ve dropped nine points so far this season.
However, Katsina United are the only team yet to pick up a point away from home this season. With this, one can easily predict an easy win for Heartland FC.
◉Kano Pillars – Adamawa United
Pillars will have themselves to blame after dropping two points in the closing stage of last weekend away meeting with Warri Wolves. Meanwhile, a win should be non-negotiable, as they welcome the whipping boys, Adamawa United.
It could also be the moment NPFL fans have been waiting for, as super eagles captain Ahmed Musa looks set to make his returning debut for the club.
Pillars are on the same point with Akwa and wouldn’t want to take their foots off the pedal going into this game.
Meanwhile, Adamawa United can only depend on miracle to survive the drop, as they currently rock the bottom of NPFL table, with just 12 points from 20 games.
◉Warri Wolves – MFM
Wolves will be hoping to swim their way out of the trouble waters when MFM visit on Sunday. It will be their second consecutive home fixture, as they only managed to rescue a point last time out with Kano Pillars.
Both teams haven’t been quite convincing this season, as they’ve churned out mixed results. Warri Wolves have picked up 19 points from 10 home games so far, while MFM have gathered six points away from home.
◉Dakkada FC – Akwa United
Undoubtedly one the most exciting fixtures for the weekend – with the fact that it’s a derby.
Akwa United have not lost this fixture having met thrice prior to this weekend matchup. The Promise Keepers have had one victory and two draws so far, which them the favorite on paper, coupled with their superb run of form.
It looks like a good time for the table toppers to maintain their lead as well as continuing their 10-game unbeaten run.
Meanwhile, Dakkada FC have proven to be a stubborn team to beat since their promotion to the NPFL a season ago. They currently occupy the ninth spot, and finishing the season in the top half of the table will be their sole aim.
Realistically, both teams will be playing at home with the rivalry ignited once more – a draw looks more likely or slim win for Akwa United.
◉Wikki Tourist – Nasarawa United
Wikki Tourist have a chance of moving up the table as they host Nasarawa United. A win for the home side could see them move up to 13th position should results from other match centres go their way.
On the other hand, Nasarawa United have racked up eight points on the road so far. The will be arriving Bauchi with some confidence, having beaten high flying Kwara United in their last game. It looks like both teams could be settling for a draw here.
◉Kwara United – Pleateau United
Coach Abdullahi Biffo and his boys will be hoping to get back to winning ways as they host Plateau United.
The Afonja Warriors secured decent signings at the commencement of the season, including an experienced ex-Super Eagles goalie Dele Aiyenugba which it paid off with consistent performance.
They are arguably the surprise package of the season, and currently sit third on the table, after bowing narrowly to a 2-1 defeat in Nasarawa last weekend.
Plateau United have managed just three points away from home so far this season, and are on a losing streak in the last three away games. Based on the Tin City club’s current away form, this maybe not the best time to visit Kwara, as another defeat is looming.
◉Sunshine Stars – Jigawa Golden Stars
18th-placed Sunshine Stars welcome Jigawa Golden Stars to the Akure Township Stadium. Not the best of time for the Akure Gunners as they are currently in the drop zone.
The host have gathered 14 points from 10 home games so far, while the visiting team have surprisingly picked up five points away from home.
We could be in for an interesting encounter here, as both teams desperately need points to cement their places on the log.

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