Sai Masu and the Peoples Elephant will tackle each other on Tuesday to decide the destiny of the league shield this season
Kano Pillars and Enyimba will slug it out on Tuesday evening to comply with the directives of the NFF's Appeal Committee which ordered a replay of their Match day 31 NPFL tie played September 11 in Kano.
The tie was seven minutes from full time when fans of Pillars allegedly encroached on the pitch to celebrate the home team's late minute goal.
Both the League Management Company (LMC) and the NFF's O&D ruled in the opposite direction with the former's preliminary verdict sanctioning a replay while the latter handed the game to the Peoples Elephant. The NFF's Appeal Committee however ruled that the game be replayed with no option of further appeal.
This clash of two of the four leading gladiators for the league title this season will give a clearer picture of where the league crown will nest at the end of the season. With the other two sides, Bayelsa United and El Kanemi Warriors, to benefit if the encounter ends in a draw.
Both clubs have won at least two league titles each between them. They have been dominant in the league for sometime now save for the Peoples Elephant's dull periods in 2011 and 2012.
Enyimba's dominance could be traced to the handiwork of former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu whose assumption of office marked a significant turnaround in the club. Kalu resumed as governor in 1999 and it was at the turn of the millennium that their success story started. They are now arguably the best team among the Oriental clubs that also include Heartland and Enugu Rangers.
Enyimba have won the league title six times in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2010 and are in the hunt for a record seventh crown this season.They are currently tied with Rangers on the number of titles won (six), with the Flying Antelopes' last shot at the league title being 1984.
On the part of Pillars they have also had a turnaround from 2002 till date after they returned to the top flight that year from the lower league. They have managed to remain in the elite division and also have two league titles to show for their efforts. They won it in 2008 and 2012. They had current coach of the Aba Millionaires, Salisu Yusuf as an assistant coach under Kadiri Ikhana when they won their first title.
HEAD TO HEAD
Kano Pillars are still unbeaten at home for over 10 years with Julius Berger FC (now Bridge Boys FC) being the last known club to inflict a home defeat on Sai Masu on June 21, 2003. The club won the tie 2-1 in Kano.
The Peoples Elephant have always struggled in Kano and they are yet to win a league game there since the premier league started. They may however fancy their chances this term with both clubs playing on a neutral ground-the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja behind closed doors.
Enyimba had the last laugh when both sides met in the league with Sibi Gwar's hat trick settling a 3-0 home win for the former African Champions. With the Peoples Elephant's current form under coach Yusuf, Pillars must be at their best to really do battle with them on Tuesday.
Both clubs have released their list ahead of the match and all usual suspects are included in the epic duel.
Pillars are third on the log with 57 points from 34 matches while Enyimba are a place and a point behind from same number of matches.