NPFL Preview All you need to know ahead of new 2018 season

Here is a preview to the 2018 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL)

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Plateau United ta zama zakaran Nigeria play 2017 NPFL Champions League face a difficult task to retain their title. (LMC)
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The 2017/2018 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) resumes on Saturday, January 13, here is a preview of the upcoming season.

First-week fixtures

Saturday, January 13

Katsina United FC vs  Kano Pillars FC 4:00 pm

Sunday, January 14 (All matches 4:00 pm )

FC Ifeanyi Ubah  vs Yobe Desert Stars FC

Wikki Tourists FC vs  Go Round FC

Akwa United FC  vs Rangers Int’l FC

Lobi Stars FC    vs Enyimba Int’l FC

Heartland FC   vs Sunshine Stars

FC Kwara United FC  vs Niger Tornadoes

FC Nasarawa United FC vs Plateau United

FC  Rivers United FC  vs El-Kanemi Warriors FC

Abia Warriors FC   vs  MFM FC.

 

Last Season Review

Nigeria's first tier of professional football resumes after a three month break, which saw Plateau United become league champions for the first time since its establishment.

Relegated teams

Relegated teams were Remo Stars, ABS of Ilorin, Shooting Stars of Ibadan and Gombe United.

Teams to play on the continent

Champions Plateau United and runners-up MFM qualified to take part in the CAF champions League qualification round.

While last seasons third-placed team Enyimba will compete in the CAF Confederations Cup, alongside Aiteo cup winners Akwa United.

yanda aka kare bayan wasa 38 (NPFL) play As it finished last season in the 2017 NPFL

 

Promoted Teams

Four teams were promoted from the lower division (Nigerian national league) to the first tier, the teams are Kwara United and Yobe Desert Stars from the northern division while Go Round of Omoku, Heartland of Owerri promoted from the southern division.

NPFL Coaches Change Clubs.

Here is a list of the  20 coaches in the league

Abia Warriors - Rafael Everton

Akwa United - Abdu Maikaba

Elkanemi Warriors - Imama Kweku Amakpakabo,

Enugu Rangers - Gbenga Ogunbote

Enyimba FC - Paul Aigbogun

FC Ifeanyi Ubah - Ladan Bosso

Go Round FC - Ngozi Elechi

Heartland FC - Ramson Madu

Kano Pillars - Ibrahim Musa

Lobi Stars - Solomon Ogbeide

Kastina United - Abdullahi Usman Biffo

Kwara United - John Sam Obuh

MFM FC - Fidelis Ilechukwu

Nasarawa United - Kabiru Dogo

Niger Tornadoes - Erasmus Onu

Plateau United - Kennedy Boboye

Rivers United - Stanley Eguma

Sunshine Stars - Duke Udi

Wikki Tourists - Bala Nikyu

Yobe Desert Stars - Mohammed Baba Ganaru

NPFL Matches now on National Television

This season, football loving Nigerians would have the pleasure of viewing League matches on National Television after the League Management Company (LMC) signed an agreement with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) to broadcast league matches across different venues around the country.

If this would change the general audience perception of the league remains to be seen.

Sikiru Olatunbosun play Goals like Olatubosun's would be on television for football aficionados (NPFL)

 

CHAN Distraction

Some teams have lost key players to the Super Eagle's home-based team that would be at the African Nation's Championship (CHAN) in Morocco.

Additional information

The league would go on break from Thursday, 14 June till Sunday, 15 July due to the World Cup, also the NPFL under 15 promises second edition is expected to come up.

Title Favourites

Defending champions Plateau United are favourites to reclaim the crown as they boast the majority of the squad who were victorious last year coupled with some useful additions.

Others are - MFM, Akwa United, Enyimba, Kano Pillars, Rangers.

Plateau United win 2017 NPFL title play Who would dethrone current Champions Plateau United? (Twitter/NPFLofficial)

 

Relegation Candidates

Yobe Desert stars, Katsina United, Wikki Tourist, Sunshine Stars, Kwara United and Niger Tornadoes

Players to watch

Sikiru Olatubosun (MFM), Ifeanyi Ifeanyi (Akwa United), Anthony Okpotu (Lobi Stars), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba),

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