NPFL matchday 9 preview and predictions

Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matchday nine of the 2021/22 campaign takes centre stage on Sunday, with a top-of-the-table clash to come in Ikenne between Remo Stars and Rivers United.

The NPFL continues with matchday nine fixtures

Remo Stars claimed a hard-fought point at Rangers on Wednesday, two days after Rivers United had comfortably beaten Heartland 3-1 in Port-Harcourt to take the top position. At the bottom end of the table, it is a south-west derby between MFM and Shooting Stars in Lagos.

There is a mid-table battle between Sunshine Stars and Lobi Stars in Ijebu Ode to look forward to and that of Plateau United against Abia Warriors in Jos.

The biggest game of the matchday without any doubt. Remo Stars have punched above their weights all season, still maintaining their unbeaten start till this moment. While Rivers United, being one of the favourites to win the title, have been doing the talking on the pitch.

The hosts are yet to concede at home this season, but did drop points against Nasarawa United some weeks ago, While Rivers United have been impressive away from home. Gbenga Ogunbote will be relying on defensive pair Isah Ali and Nduka Junior to keep Chijioke Akuneto and Ishaq Rafiu of the visitors quiet in this massive showdown.

In past topflight meetings, United have won all four, but times have changed and the home side slightly hold the advantage in this big fixture this time.

Prediction: Remo Stars 0-0 Rivers United

A case of two struggling sides at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Sunday. MFM have changed coaches and management as the realities of a possible demotion dawned on the club’s hierarchy. On the other hand, Shooting Stars recently lost its GM (Rasheed Balogun) and not forgetting their dismal start to the campaign.

Both teams are in dire need of points and there is only three available for who wants it most in Lagos. In their past four meetings in the topflight, MFM have only picked a win while the Oluyole Warriors have won two and they have shared the spoils once.

Not much between them at the moment and this could end in a stalemate.

Prediction: MFM 0-0 Shooting Stars

It is sixth against seventh in the Northern derby at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi on Sunday. Wikki have been impressive this campaign, while the Solid Miners have maintained the same form they displayed last season.

Nasarawa United won at this ground last season and have avoided defeats in other two of their past five visits. However, Wikki have shown that they can compete this season and have been different under Kabiru Dogo.

Prediction: Wikki Tourists 1-0 Nasarawa United

Sunshine Stars have surprised many this campaign. Despite a poor start where they struggled for goals, the Owena Whales are flying at the moment. They have avoided defeats at Rivers United, Akwa United and Sunshine Stars.

Meanwhile, Lobi Stars have blown hot and cold this season. They currently sit eight, two points more than the Akure Gunners. It will be an interesting battle between these two sides in Ijebu Ode on Saturday.

Prediction: Sunshine Stars 2-0 Lobi Stars

On Saturday, Enyimba will be in Aba to host Katsina United, while Heartland and Kano Pillars will wrestle for maximum points at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri.

The Chosen Ones of Dakkada will play Enugu Rangers at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, as they hope to return to their base with a win after the expiration of their LMC ban. Meanwhile, Niger Tornadoes will host champions Akwa United in Abuja.

Plateau United and Abia Warriors will trade tackles at the New Jos Stadium, while Kwara United will hope to return to winning ways against Gombe United after Wednesday’s heartbreak in Ibadan.

Saturday

Enyimba v Katsina United

Heartland v Kano Pillars

Sunshine Stars v Lobi Stars

Sunday

MFM v Shooting Stars

Remo Stars v Rivers United

Dakkada v Rangers

Tornadoes v Akwa United

Plateau United v Abia Warriors

Kwara United v Gombe United

Wikki Tourists v Nasarawa United

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