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NPFL Matchday 21 Previews: Kano Pillars and Katsina United tango

15:00 GMT+4 13/05/2018
Enyimba vs Kano Pillars
The Sai Masu Gida Boys will be aiming to claim dominance over the Chanji Boys this weekend, among nine top-flight fixtures

Niger Tornadoes vs Kwara United      

The Ikon Allah Boys will welcome struggling Harmony Warriors in a reverse fixture this season at the Bako Kotangora Stadium on Sunday.

Having suffered their first loss in nine games to MFM in Lagos, the hosts are desperate to restart another unbeaten run but must subdue their struggling north-central neighbours.

In their last meeting, Tornadoes earned a 2-0 win in the season opener played at the Kwara Sports Complex  and would be eyeing a back-to-back victory over their visitors.

At the moment, Niger Tornadoes are fifth with 30 points from 20 games, while Kwara United are 18th with 22 points from similar matches.


Yobe Desert Stars vs FC Ifeanyi Ubah       

The Damaturu Boys will be looking to consolidate on their recent win over MFM FC when they face stubborn Anambra Warriors at the Damaturu Stadium.

Mohammed Babaganaru's men gained their first win in four games during the week, having subdued the Olukoya Boys with their late winner from the spot.

And the 12th-placed hosts would be hoping to make it second win on the bounce against Ladan Bosso's side, who defeated them 2-1 in the opening match of the season in Nnewi.

On the other hand, 10th placed Anambra Boys who are without a defeat in their last five games will be desperate to maintain their form in front of an empty stadium.


Go Round   vs Wikki Tourist      

The Omoku Boys will go all out in search of their eighth win of the season when they confront the relegation-threatened Giant Elephants.
The topflight debutants capitulated in Nnewi a week ago after they suffered a late 2-1 defeat to FC Ifeanyi Ubah, making their ninth loss in 20 outings.

While staying a spot above the drop zone, Ngozi Elechi's side will focus on acquiring the maximum points on the pitch, having in mind their 1-0 first leg defeat in Bauchi.

On Bala Nikyu's side, who have failed to record a win in last six matches, they will be eager to avoid defeat in order not drop into the relegation places.

Sunshine Stars  vs  Heartland     
The Owena Whales will be up against the Naze Millionaires in a bottom-of-the-table battle at the Akure Sports Complex. 

Henry Abiodun's side narrowly bowed 1-0 to Lobi Stars a week ago in Makurdi to suffer their second defeat in three games and would be planning to secure their first win in four successive outings against their fellow strugglers.

They will be relying on the red-hot form of Dayo Ojo plus returning Kunle Odulami and Ajibola Otegbeye to crush the visitors in the attempt to ease their relegation troubles.

Heartland, on their own part, would be seeking to avoid suffer their tenth defeat in the quest to get back on track their fast fading league season campaign in the top-flight in Akure.

After a 2-1 home win over Nasarawa United in March, the visitors are without a win in their last six games and will hope to end their woeful run with a second away win after the first at Niger Tornadoes in February this weekend.


Kano Pillars   vs Katsina United        

The Sai Masu Gida Boys will welcome the Chanji Boys in a top of the table clash at the Sani Abacha Stadium.

Both northern sides have enjoyed an impressive campaign so far, suffering only a defeat in last five matches, but the hosts have three win - one better than their visitors.

Ibrahim Musa's side are going into the tie on the back of their 1-1 draw at Heartland and they would set their sights on subduing Abdullahi Biffo's men in the bid to trim the five-point lead of leaders Lobi Stars, who are not on duty this weekend to two.

For the third-placed Katsina Boys, though, ambitious for a top-four finish, will be channeling their energy into getting their own pound of flesh against Pillars, who held them to a 2-2 draw at the Mohammed Dikko Stadium back in January this year.

Plateau United   vs  Nasarawa United       

The Peace Boys will be aiming to build upon their vital away point against Akwa United when they host their neighbours Solid Miners at the New Jos Stadium.

Despite their injury concerns, Kennedy Boboye's side have been pushing hard to recover from their unfortunate ouster from Caf inter-club competitions securing two wins and two draws in last five games - to place fourth on the log with 30th points.

Following their 1-1 draw against the Promise Keepers, coach Boboye will see the clash with Kabiru Dogo as a big chance to close in on leaders Lobi Stars, who are resting this weekend due to foes Enyimba's involvement in the Caf Confederation Cup.

While 12th-placed Nasarawa, on their own part, will be looking to upset the title holders as they battle to avoid defeat, bearing in mind only two points separate them from the drop zone.


El Kanemi Warriors vs    Rivers United   

The Borno Army are eager to ease their relegation fears as they face the Pride of Rivers at the Maiduguri Township Stadium.

Imama Amakpabo's side have endured a horrible start to their campaign this season, managing six wins from 19 games and are sitting in 17th on the standings with 22 points.

This weekend, the hosts will be searching for their seventh win to move out of the bottom four against ninth-placed Stanley Eguma's side, who defeated them 1-0 at the start of the season in Port Harcourt.

On the part of Rivers, their main target will be compounding the woes of their northern foes as they strive to pick more points on their travels to keep up their quest for a top-four finish.


MFM FC  vs Abia Warriors

The Olukoya Boys are aiming to bounce back from their unfortunate defeat to Yobe Desert Stars when they confront the Uchendu Warriors at the Agege Stadium.

Fidelis Ilechukwu's side have been struggling to cope with packed fixtures plus the exit of key players including Ospino Egbe having lost three of last four games in the space of two-weeks - to place 11th on the log with 27 points from 20 outings.

However, coach Ilechukwu will be relying on the availability of Chukwuka Onuwa and Sikiru Olatunbosun to wrestling away the maximum points to avenge their season-opening 2-0 loss on the grounds of Emmanuel Deutsch's side in Umuahia.

On the other hand, the south-easterners, who have lost only one game in their last five, will be looking to gain another vital point on their travels after securing their fourth away draw at Rivers United a week ago.