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NPFL matchday 26 preview and predictions

Slow and steady, the Nigeria Professional Football League 2021/22 season is winding up, and the battle for the continental spots and survival continues to be the talking point almost every match day.

Continental hopefuls Kwara United will host Rivers United in Ilorin, while second placed Plateau United will be away at Dakkada on Saturday.

At the other end of the table, Lobi Stars and Nasarawa United will face off in Makurdi, Heartland and Abia Warriors have some scores to settle in the oriental derby and Shooting Stars will be guests of Sunshine Stars in Akure.

Let’s have a look at some of the games of interest this weekend.

Sunshine Stars v Shooting Stars

A clash, a derby and battle every single time with enormous drama on and off the pitch. This particular one shouldn’t be different as well because of the state of things around both teams.

The reverse fixture ended in an entertaining 2-2 draw and as we approach the business end of the season, games of this magnitude usually amount to many things.

Sunshine are on a run of seven consecutive home wins, while Shooting Stars have a seven-game losing streak on their travels.

On the balance of play, the Owena Whales have the edge, while Shooting Stars will need to do better if they are to leave with at least a point from this game.

Prediction: Sunshine Stars 1-0 Shooting Stars

Kwara United v Rivers United

A big game with so many things attached to it. Kwara United crumbled in the opening 30 minutes in their last game in Awka and will need to return to winning ways when they face the league leaders.

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The Harmony Boys have conceded at least a goal in their past ten league games and have drawn their past two home games and this leaves them in a bad spot at the moment. For the Pride of Rivers, they need a result to pull away from Plateau United.

It should be an interesting fixture and it’s definitely there for the taking by any side that is ready for that.

Prediction: Kwara United 1-1 Rivers United

Other games include:

Second placed Plateau United will on the road to play Dakkada in Uyo, as Enyimba entertain Gombe United in Aba and there is a Northern battle between Niger Tornadoes and Kano Pillars in Kaduna to savour.

Resurgent Katsina United will be looking for a successive home win when they host Deji Ayeni’s unbeaten Akwa United. Bottom placed MFM, if they want to stay up, will have to dig deep and beat Rangers on Sunday.

An Oriental derby cum relegation six-pointer will be between Heartland and Abia Warriors in Owerri, while high flying Remo Stars and Wikki Tourists will face off in Ikenne.

Another game of huge significance will see Lobi Stars and Nasarawa United come up against each other in Makurdi on Sunday.

FULL FIXTURES

Saturday

Dakkada v Plateau United

Enyimba v Gombe United

Niger Tornadoes v Kano Pillars

Sunday

Katsina United v Akwa United

Kwara United v Rivers United

MFM v Rangers

Heartland v Abia Warriors

Remo Stars v Wikki Tourists

Sunshine Stars v Shooting Stars

Lobi Stars v Nasarawa United

AON

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