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NPFL final day preview: 17 teams battle to avoid relegation from top division

9:46 AM WAT 25/05/2019
Kwara United
The majority of NPFL clubs still risk demotion to the lower league if they fail to get the required result on the last day of action

The abridged version of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has been keenly-contested with 17 teams still at risk of dropping down to the Nigeria National League (NNL) if they fail to get the desired results on the final matchday on Sunday.

Indeed, the NPFL final matchday is action-packed as only a few out of the remaining fixtures are insignificant.

It would either impact on the playoff aspirations or survival of the teams in action.

In Port Harcourt, Rivers United, who have missed out on qualification for the Super Six will be hosting Bendel Insurance.

The fixture billed for the Yakubu Gowon Stadium is delicately-poised as any result recorded could lead to the relegation of at least one of the opposing teams.

Both the Pride of Rivers and Insurance are tied on 28 points and only victory for either side would guarantee their safety. Defeat will most likely lead to relegation for the losing team while a draw may not be good enough to save the two teams from going down.

The situation in Okigwe where Heartland will be hosting El-Kanemi Warriors is similar to the situation in Port Harcourt.

Victory for either side guarantees safety, defeat as well as a draw is dangerous depending on results from other venues.

In Akure, it will be a South-west derby between Sunshine Stars and MFM. While the Olukoya Boys need an away win to aid their push for a playoff spot, the Owena Whales must win to be sure of keeping their status in the NPFL.  A draw will do little or no help to the ambition of the regional rivals.

Go Round have their destiny in their hands as they host Gombe United on Sunday in Omoku. It is a winner takes all encounter as both teams are tied on 27 points and three points on the final day of action will be enough to escape relegation. Like the other games, a draw will be a bad result for both teams.

Abia Warriors are expected to get the job done as they host Kano Pillars in Umuahia. In Warriors last four games they won three and drew one and this has put them in good stead to escape relegation once they beat Pillars who on their part have qualified for the Super Six already.

Katsina United have an uphill task as they must beat Enyimba to be sure of their safety while the People’s Elephant also need to get a good result to be sure of their qualification for the Super Six.

Eight teams are set to be relegated from the NPFL this season and only three have been confirmed heading into the final matchday.