Sunday, September 22, 2013

NPFL: Now a four-horse title race?

The complexion of the title race for this season's Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is becoming clearer with just six rounds of matches to go.

As it currently stands, four clubs are now in the title race. They are Enyimba, Bayelsa United, El-Kanemi Warriors and champions Kano Pillars.

Enugu Rangers, Kwara United and Warri Wolves now look like outsiders in the race for this season's title despite their strong start to the campaign.


Tight Race At The Top

This is one of the closest race in the run-up to the title in recent years and it is now among four clubs. Enyimba lead the pack on 52 points (with a goal difference of +14) ahead of second-placed Bayelsa United on same number of points but with a +4 goal difference.

El-Kanemi and Kano Pillars are tied on same number of points but the former occupy third with a superior goal difference of +11 to Pillars' +4.


Race Starts With Top-of-the-table Clash

 Hold your breath because the countdown to the title race will begin with a top-of-the-table clash at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa this weekend.

Enyimba will make the trip to face Bayelsa United in a top-of-the-table match this Sunday. This game will hint at where the pendulum will swing in the title race.

But this top-of-the-table match will not directly throw up this season's champions though as there is still the outstanding game between Kano Pillars and Enyimba.


Possible King-making Clubs

 At least five clubs will have a say in installing this season's champions. The clubs are Sharks, Gombe United, Dolphins, Kaduna United and Lobi Stars. Gombe United will face three of the top-four sides except Enyimba while Sharks go up against Enyimba and El-Kanemi.

El-Kanemi and Kano Pillars will confront Dolphins in home games while Kaduna United will play hosts to Bayelsa United and Kano Pillars in the run-in to the title race. In Week 37, Lobi Stars will head to El-Kanemi before rounding off their season on the final day at home against Kano Pillars.


Race Down To The Wire

Definitely the race for the title will be determined on the final day of this season from the last six rounds of games. We could even have the title race being determined by goal difference should the top-four clubs continue in this neck-to-neck race.


Last Six Games Of The Top-four Clubs

 Enyimba: Bayelsa United (A), Akwa United (H), 3SC (A), ABS (H), Sunshine Stars (A), Sharks (H)

 Bayelsa United: Enyimba (H), Nembe City (A), Warri Wolves (H), Kaduna United (A), Kwara United (H), Gombe United (A)

 El-Kanemi Warriors: Gombe United (H), Sharks (A), Dolphins (H), Heartland (A), Lobi Stars (H), Enugu Rangers (A)

 Kano Pillars: Warri Wolves (H), Kaduna United (A), Kwara United (H), Gombe United (A), Dolphins (H), Lobi Stars (A)

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