It’s another weekend, and exciting football action is on the domestic scene. What do the NPFL fixtures have for us?
There are nine matches on the cards in the NPFL this weekend, and thankfully, the league has spared us the blushes of seeing another embarrassing Enyimba performance.
So what are the must-see games in match day five of the NPFL?
We highlight a few NPFL fixtures that should be intriguing enough to catch your fancy.
NPFL Fixtures – The must-see games
Insurance seeks a third home win this term
Bendel Insurance vs Akwa United
Before last weekend's games, the Benin Arsenal were top of the log with two wins from two matches. However, the Monday Odigie-led side fell 1-0 to Gombe United.
They host bottom-of-the-log side Akwa United. The Promise Keepers may be bottom of the table, but they’re an exciting side and know how to serve excitement.
They opened their season with a 5-3 loss to Bayelsa United. Despite their form, only four teams have scored more goals than Akwa United, and three occupy the top three spots.
Insurance will have their hands full against the Uyo-based side. If you can't watch the game, don't worry. Propel Sports has got you covered as they will stream it via the NPFL Live app.
Prediction: Bendel Insurance have not been scoring many goals this season. Perhaps it's the effect of losing their top scorer, Imade Osarenkhoe.
They have scored three goals, with one being an own goal. They have found a way of limiting opposing strikers and have not conceded more than one goal this term.
1. Both sides to score.
2. Over 2.5 odds.
3. Bendel Insurance to win – 2-1.
Can Pillars hold firm against the high-flying Antelopes?
Enugu Rangers vs Kano Pillars
The NPFL fixtures match day five has served one of the most exciting ties of the season. Enugu Rangers host one of their traditional rivals – Kano Pillars, in Awka this weekend.
Enugu Rangers have been flying high this term with two wins, one draw and a loss. The intriguing fact is that they have scored in every game they played, irrespective of the venue.
Kano Pillars have to be at their optimum against the Flying Antelopes, who are making a solid case to become league winners again.
Sai Masu Gida is currently ninth on the log with two wins and two losses from two 1-0 wins and losses. The Northern giants have not scored on the road this season, and it is challenging to see how they will curtail the Flying Antelopes in their backyard.
Prediction: Enugu Rangers have scored in all the games they have played. Expect the Flying Antelopes to hit the target again at home.
1. Under 2.5 odds.
2. Enugu Rangers to keep a clean sheet.
3. Enugu Rangers to win 2-0.
🚨Rangers Intl mercurial midfielder, Ugochukwu Ugwuoke, has been discharged from the private medical facility in Enugu where he went through the surgeon’s knife to correct a knee injury that has kept him out of action for nearly two seasons.
Ugwuoke who marched out from the… pic.twitter.com/C2mUArdeXA
— MikeThePundit (@Mike_ThePundit) October 27, 2023
Brothers go to war in another Oriental derby
Abia Warriors vs Heartland Owerri
Following their 1-0 win over Kano Pillars, Abia Warriors capitulated the following week to Lobi Stars 2-0. They have a solid home form with two wins, but they are up against a side desperate for wins.
Heartland FC are 17th on the log, three points behind the Ochendo Babes. Their manager, Christian Obi, has been given a two-game ultimatum to turn things around or get the boot.
Curiously, Heartland has lost just one game, with three draws. A win would take them level on points with Abia Warriors, but can they manage it? Can they keep a clean sheet?
Heartland Warriors have conceded in every game they have played this season. The trend should continue.
Prediction: Abia Warriors have scored in the two home games played. They will have to keep an eye on Patrick Nwogbaga. The forward has two goals already this season.
1. Both sides to score.
2. Heartland to score first.
3. The game ended in a draw.
29 OCT Postponed. Enyimba FC vs Remo Stars
I commiserate with Enyimba, Kanu, and Finidi.
We were all dreaming and hoping they would survive the Casa atmosphere with our shambolic football ecosystem against Wydad.
NO NPFL club can compete at this level of African Football. Don't stress yourself mentioning any club, we… pic.twitter.com/G18i2fsUQK
— Adepoju Tobi Samuel 🇳🇬 (@OgaNlaMedia) October 27, 2023
Due to their continental assignment, Enyimba will not be in action this weekend. Their match against Remo Stars in Aba has been postponed.
The People’s Elephant served another embarrassment in Morocco as they lost 3-0 (4-0 aggregate) to crash out of the African Football League.
Now, the Aba warlords can concentrate on the domestic scene, as their foray into the continent this season is akin to a man with erectile dysfunction – they can’t get it up, and when they do, they can’t keep it up.
Lobi Stars set to disunite Rivers United
Rivers United vs Lobi Stars
Lobi Stars are perhaps the most exciting club presently in the NPFL. The NPFL fixtures match day five has drawn them against Rivers United.
Lobi Stars are the only unbeaten side in the NPFL this season. They have not been defensively resolute (they managed two clean sheets) but with a knack for scoring. Like Enugu Rangers, they have scored in every game they played this term.
Rivers United are struggling for form and goals, with four points from as many games. It is not the kind of form the Confederation Cup campaigners need.
Two weeks ago, they drew at home to Kwara United and lost to a last-gasp Rabiu Ali goal last weekend. It feels like they’re up a creek without a paddle.
Prediction: Where will the goals come for Rivers United? The only two goals they scored this term came in a lacklustre 2-0 win over Remo Stars.
If they serve the kind of performance we saw last week, expect Lobi Stars to get their first away win this season.
Rivers United need to get their acts together. The Pride of Rivers are not exciting to watch but are mean defensively, as shown by the two goals they have conceded this season.
Only Bendel Insurance has conceded fewer goals than them.
1. Under 2.5 odds.
2. It is hard to call a winner, but this looks like a draw.
3. At least one side to keep a clean sheet.
Is Sporting losing its mojo?
Don’t miss out on a must-win NPFL showdown under the lights 🤩
🆚 Niger Tornadoes 🌪️
📅 Sunday, 29th October
🏟️ Onikan Stadium
🕕 Kick-off- 6 p.m.
— Sporting Lagos (@SportingLagos) October 27, 2023
Sporting Lagos vs Niger Tornadoes
The Mobolaji Johnson Arena is one of the most alluring arenas on the local scene. The Lagos side has made their games a fiesta. Lovely ambience mixed with good football.
If you are in Lagos, take a trip to the Onikan Water Front to see them host Niger Tornadoes – you won’t be disappointed.
Sporting Lagos started the season brightly. The newly promoted side came into the league with an unseen spark, but the loss to Remo Stars last week seems to have put a dampener on things.
However, they have what it takes to give any team a run for their money. Niger Tornadoes are about to find out, why the Mobolaji Johnson Stadium is one of the most interesting in the country.
Prediction: Sporting Lagos has a fine blend of youth and experience. They will count on it against Tornadoes.
1. Sporting Lagos to score first.
2. Under 2.5 odds.
3. Sporting Lagos to win – 2-0.
Other NPFL Fixtures on Matchday five
Gombe United vs Plateau United
Gombe and Plateau United have identical records. They have both won two games and lost two. Is it curious that their losses have come on the road?
While Gombe is ahead of Plateau United on the log, thanks to scoring more goals, nothing else separates these two sides.
The two sides can be resilient and dogged, but that quality will be tested on Sunday.
Prediction: Gombe United to win 1-0.
Bayelsa United vs Kwara United
Another interesting tie in the NPFL Fixtures week 5 is between Kwara United and Bayelsa United.
Kwara United have had a tepid start to the season, but their only loss came in the opening weekend of the season – a 1-0 loss away to Katsina United.
The Harmony Boys are back in the South-South after they recorded an impressive 0-0 draw away to Rivers United two weeks ago.
They could not build on that as they drew at home to Enugu Rangers. They will find a Bayelsa United side that is hurt.
Since their impressive opening day 5-3 win over Akwa United, Bayelsa United have slipped to a losing spree. They lost their next three games. Perhaps, if they don’t win against Kwara United, the coach will get the famous ultimatum.
Prediction: Bayelsa United to win – 1-0.
Shooting Stars vs Doma United
Shooting Stars seem to be saying to their fans that they would not battle relegation this season. The Ibadan-based side has been formidable this term at home, and expect nothing less again.
Though their opponents are a youthful and enterprising side, the Oluyole Warriors will bank on their home form to see them through. They are yet to lose at home and have only one loss this season.
They lost 2-0 away to Bendel Insurance, but Doma United will find them a massive challenge.
Prediction: Shooting Stars to win 2-1.
Katsina United vs Sunshine Stars
Perhaps when heading to Katsina for the te against Katsina United, Sunshine Stars would be asking – are we there yet?
The NPFL fixtures matchday five sees Sunshine Stars travel to Katsina. The trip to the border state will be strenuous for the Akure side, and it might take its toll on Sunshine Stars.
Few sides have come from the south to pick a result at the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium. It is a mini fortress for the Changi Boys.
Prediction: Katsina United to win.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 days ago