NPFL Week 13 Previews: Heartland host Rangers, Gombe welcome Pillars

Action continues today as Owerri hosts Heartland & Rangers in Oriental derby while Gombe Utd host title holders Pillars in Week 13 fixtures with Week 12 matches moved to June 4

It’s another titanic Oriental derby in the battle for three points as rejuvenated Naze Millionaires confront the Flying Antelopes at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri on Wednesday by 4pm. This midweek’s classic encounter between two Eastern clubs is another good publicity for the Nigeria Premier League.

Heartland zoomed out of the relegation places for the first time in over six weeks following their 1-0 home win over Giwa FC last Wednesday and must replicate the fighting spirit displayed against Giwa if they hope  to secure maximum points against an unpredictable Enugu Rangers who are also desperate for result.

Heartland are 16th on the NPL log with 13 points from 11 matches, while travelling opponents, Enugu Rnagers are 14th with 14 points from similar matches.



The Savannah Scorpions would seek a back-to-back home win when they host the Sai masu gida boys at the Pantami Stadium on Wednesday.

Maurice Cooreman's Gombe United that in their last home clash bashed Nembe City 6-0 will anticipate consolidating on their latest exploit and break into the top ten against the Okey Emordi’s Kano Pillars who held Crown FC to 1-1 draw in Ibadan.

Gombe United and Kano Pillars are both outside the top ten places of the table – visitors are 17th with 11 points from 10 matches, while hosts Gombe United are placed 12th with 14 points from 11 matches.



The Restoration boys would hope their third home win in a row when they welcome the Ocendo Warriors at the Sam Ogbemudia Stadium on Wednesday.

Bayelsa United who recorded back-to-back narrow victory against Enugu Rangers and Enyimba could end their end their exile in Benin with a win over Abia Warriors. On the other hand, visiting Ladan Bosso’s team will aim to recover fast from their recent fall and halt their host’s winning run.

Bayelsa United are placed 4th with 17points from nine games, while 19th placed Abia Warrior have 11 points from 11 matches.



The Solid Miners got another chance to stay put in the top four places with a home victory against the People’s Elephants at the Lafia Township Stadium on Wednesday.

 Babaganaru Muhammed’s boys after a narrow late 1-0 win over El-Kanemi Warriors in Lafia could get a home double against rejuvenated Imama Amapakabo’s team who would seek the all-three points despite late 2-1 defeat at Bayelsa United after 1-1 draw at Sharks.

Former Super Eagles star Sani Kaita has won the confidence of technical crew and expected to make his third appearance for Enyimba in Lafia.

3rd ranked Nasarawa United have 18 points from 11 matches and six spots ahead of their visitors, Enyimba with 15points from same matches.



The Crocodiles could climb out of the relegation places through outright victory against the Kala Ekulema Boys at the Sani Abacha Stadium on Wednesday.

Kaduna United after their last week’s narrow 1-0 victory over Dolphins to secure their first win in last five matches in all competition. Visiting John Aranka’s wards would be desperate to put behind their horrible 6-0 defeat at Gombe United.

9th placed visiting Dolphins with 14 points are eleven places and six points richer than their host on the NPL standings.



The Borno Armies would seek a return to winning ways when they host the Pride of Dolphins at the Kano Pillars Stadium in Kano on Wednesday.
El-Kanemi Warriors most doggedly fight for victory if they intend to overcome the narrow 1-0 defeat suffered at Nasarawa United last Wednesday, as much as visiting Dolphins who also lost 1-0 at Kaduna United would seek to return from Kano with a positive result.

El-Kanemi Warriors have 15 points from 11 matches and placed 8th while visiting Dolphins are 13th with 14 points from same matches.



The Promise keepers would embrace the opportunity to pill-up pressure on Sharks to regain the top spot with a victory over the visiting Pride of Jalingo at the Uyo Township Stadium.

Akwa United who were resilient to manage a 2-0 home win over difficult Warri Wolves will yet seek another home triumph over difficult FC Taraba who last Sunday offered Nembe City their first win of the season this midweek.

Hosts Akwa United are highly placed in second on the table with 18 points while visiting FC Taraba are 11th with 16 points – both sides from 10 matches.



The Makurdi bombers must put behind their recent home scalp and gun for outright victory against the Seasiders at the Emmanuel Atongo Stadium, Katsina Ala on Wednesday.

Lobi Stars who last week were held by Sunshine Stars lost their 100 percent home record have hope of redeeming their image at home against Warri Wolves that have been boosted by the return of long span injured workaholic midfielder Ikechukwu Ibenegbu.

The Evan Ogenyi’s side must show better winning character if they hope to edge the Paul Aigbgun’s wards from Warri who have impressive away track record.

Lobi Stars are 7th with 16 points from 11 matches while visiting Warril Wolves sits a place above them with 17 points from 10 matches.



The Ajilete boys need a crucial victory to rewrite their errors against the Akure Gunners at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan on Wednesday.

Crown FC must avoid a third consecutive home draw after an identical home slip to Nembe and Kano Pillars on same 1-1 draw score line, but for visiting Sunshine Stars who have picked points at three tough away grounds would have brought plenty hopes after a 2-0 win over Giwa last Sunday.

After eleven matches, Crown placed 11th on the table with 14 points while their visitors, Sunshine Stars are with 17 points on 5th position from same number of matches.


SHARKS FC VS GIWA FC – Port Harcourt

Three-week old NPL leaders have been provided the chance to retain the top spot if they ensure victory against the Jos' Elephants at the Sharks Stadium in Port Harcourt.

Sharks despite their home slip against Enyimba still hanged on to the leadership mantle though must win against Giwa to nurse hopes of remaining atop.

Visiting Chris Giwa’s sponsored side would seek to avoid their third crash on the road after last Wednesday 1-0 loss at Heartland and last Sunday 2-0 loss at Sunshine Stars.

Sharks are on top the table with 18 points from 11 matches while visiting, Giwa FC are 10th with 15 points from 10 games.