NPFL Final Day Preview: FC IfeanyiUbah, Enyimba and four others in the hunt for three play-off berths

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The grand finale of the regular season will provide a grandstand finish this weekend

The curtain falls on the 2019 Nigeria Professional Football League season on Sunday with the battle for the remaining six play-off spots going down to the wire.

Akwa United and Kano Pillars have emerged from Group B while Enugu Rangers have also confirmed one of the three places from Group A but the race for the remaining three slots will be decided by six teams from both groups.

In Group A at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe, Enugu Rangers are guests of Wikki Tourist. The Flying Antelopes have 40 points from 21 games and that can’t be overtaken by any of the play-off contenders.

At the Gateway International Stadium, Sagamu, Lobi Stars will aspire to get at least a draw against the already relegated Remo Stars to ensure that they finish in the top three regardless of the results involving MFM and Enyimba. The Pride of Benue are currently in second spot on the table with 34 points from 21 games and they must avoid a defeat against the Sky Blue Stars to avoid the headache of last minute permutations.

At Akure’s Ondo Sports Complex, it will be a battle between Sunshine Stars and MFM. The Olukoya Boys must secure an away win to supplant either Lobi Stars or Enyimba but the hosts are desperate for the points as well. The Owena Whales need a home win and will also pray that results from other centres will turn in their favour for a great escape.

In Katsina, Enyimba and Katsina United will lock horns with both teams requiring positive outcomes for different reasons. The Changi Boys are in seventh spot with 27 points but with only a point separating them from the relegation zone they know that they cannot toy with the home fixture. The People’s Elephant will desire maximum points so that they will have destiny in their own hands.

Even though two tickets to the playoffs have already been confirmed in Group B the battle for the remaining slot will be vied for by the trio of FC IfeanyiUbah (33 points), Nasarawa United (30 points) and El Kanemi Warriors (30 points).

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At the August 24th Stadium in Damaturu, Nasarawa United will hope to shock Yobe Desert Stars in front of their fans and pray that Akwa United beat FC IfeanyiUbah in Nnewi to ensure they pip the Anambra Warriors to the third slot.

El Kanemi Warriors will still keep their hopes alive as they face Heartland at Okigwe Township Stadium. The Borno Army lost the opportunity they had to seal their Super Six ticket when they suffered a shock home loss to their nearest challengers, FC IfeanyiUbah on Monday in Maiduguri. They must now aspire for maximum points against the Naze Millionaires while praying that the Anambra Warriors will lose at home to the Promise Keepers.

In Nnewi, FC IfeanyiUbah will hope to wrap up their play-off aspiration when they trade tackles with Akwa United at the Ifeanyi Ubah Stadium. They will earn the third ticket in Group B if they get a draw at home against Rafael Everton’s men.  

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