Top guns test might away from home in NPFL

Al-Zamalek player Stanley Ohawuch (R) in action against Enugu Rangers player Charles Henlong (L) during the African Champions League (CAF) Round of 32 match between Al-Zamalek and Enugu Rangers at Al-Salam stadium in Cairo, Egypt, 12 March 2017. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

Three of the top four Nigerian PFL teams are away from home on match day 25, so log changes can be expected at the conclusion of the matches. Meanwhile, the relegation battle will intensify in Ijebu-Ode.

Abia Warriors vs. Plateau United
League leaders, Plateau United, aided by the coaching expertise of Kennedy Boboye, will visit Abia Warriors at the Umuahia Township Stadium.

Boboye was in-charge of the home team last season, departing acrimoniously before the end of the season so there will be edge to this match.

Even more so because Abia Warriors are in 12th place and without a win in three league games... they'll be determined to not help Plateau extend their five point lead.

Akwa United vs. Katsina United
Akwa United, in 7th place, have a great opportunity of potentially ending the weekend in a top four position, provided they defeat poor travellers, Katsina United in Uyo.

The Uyo-based team, four points better off than their opponents in 13th place won a rescheduled home game in midweek, and should make it consecutive wins.

El Kanemi Warriors vs. Remo Stars
El Kanemi Warriors' winning home streak was ended a fortnight ago, a run which stretched 24 matches. On Sunday, they take on Remo Stars, who are just a spot above rock bottom on the log.

Stars appear to have found their groove in recent weeks, going unbeaten in three successive games. They will be quietly confident against 6th-placed Warriors, looking to capitalise on any defensive vulnerability from a team who have conceded in their last two home games.

FC Ifeanyi Ubah vs. Wikki Tourists
Big-spending FC Ifeanyi Ubah could end the weekend in second place, an upgrade from their present fifth position, with a routine home win against Wikki Tourists.

Tourists, campaigners earlier in the season on the continent, are currently 16th on the log. They should be saved the worries of a bottom-four placement, unless Sunshine Stars wins by an unexpectedly wide margin.

Kano Pillars vs. MFM FC
Tenth-placed Kano Pillars welcome MFM FC in a game which the visiting church-sponsored team will need to double their efforts to earn something from.

The home team has found the winning rhythm back on their turf in recent games, while second-placed MFM have struggled on the road in the second round of the league.

All that could change if Stephen Odey ends his goal drought on Sunday, so an open game is a possibility.

Nasarawa United vs. Enyimba
Nasarawa United, in ninth place could play a decisive part in the top four placement, when they host 4th-placed Enyimba.

Resurgent giants Enyimba have churned out some impressive performances and results in the second round.

Meanwhile, Nasarawa's last two home wins have come against struggling teams; hence the People's Elephant could be a hard nut to crack.

Niger Tornadoes vs. Enugu Rangers
Enugu Rangers' turbulent season appears not to get any easier, with a trip to Lokoja, as guests of 8th-placed Niger Tornadoes.

Tornadoes, apparently, are depending on impressive home form to see out the season. Considering Rangers' mixed season to date, it is difficult to expect the Flying Antelopes to improve their 14th place on the table.

Shooting Stars vs. ABS FC
Bottom-placed Shooting Stars will attempt to use pedigree rather than present form to get some change out of visiting ABS FC.

ABS, occupy the best position of the promoted teams, sitting just outside the top-half in 11th place. The Ilorin-based team is renowned for playing some exciting football, complemented by a talented youthful crop of players.

Anything aside from a home win for Stars could signal the end of Fatai Amoo's tenure as coach of the five-time league champions.

Sunshine Stars vs. Gombe United
The weekend preview concludes with a massive relegation battle between Sunshine Stars and Gombe United, in Ijebu-Ode.

Both teams are level on points and have an almost identical goal difference, which leaves very little to separate them.

The big question is can 17th place Stars end a three game losing streak against 18th place Gombe at their adopted home ground? Certainly a winner takes all game.