Only a brave man will make an NPFL prediction with an air of certainty. The Nigeria Professional Football (NPFL) is perhaps the most uncertain league in Africa.
That is why we give you our NPFL prediction for the upcoming season with a sense of caution.
It has its peculiar idiosyncrasies. One thing you are guaranteed is drama. The league has unending drama. It is why the NPFL is a top-ten league in Africa.
After an abridged version of the league last season, the 2023/24 campaign is about to kick off, and it will be a complete season of 38 matches each.
With broadcast deals already agreed upon and the matches to be live-streamed, it adds an extra dimension to the league. The teams have so much to play for, as the prize money for the winner is a N150 million ($167,000).
* NPFL Board and their strategic partner, GTI have re-confirmed the Prize Money for the 2023/24 NPFL season.
* The winner of the NPFL this season will get N150 million.
* Enyimba got N100 million last season.
— Adepoju Tobi Samuel 🇳🇬 (@OgaNlaMedia) September 1, 2023
NPFL prediction 2023/24 season
With the shenanigans of prize money, league format, the kick-off date and no take-off grant for teams sorted, what should we expect this season?
We have sorted our NPFL prediction, and in this piece, we give you our top five.
5 – Sporting Lagos will stay up
TBS 🤝🏾 Onikan Stadium
Akpikpi delivering the goods pic.twitter.com/MXwjobHpIf
— Sporting Lagos (@SportingLagos) August 23, 2023
Newly promoted Sporting Lagos just gained promotion into the NPFL this season. Many expect the newly promoted sides to struggle to stay afloat, but it doesn’t look so for the Lagos side.
Sporting Lagos comes with colour, fanfare and ambition. They also have experienced sports administrators with brilliant ideas and know what they want for the club.
Funds are not an issue for the club, and they showed during the Naija Super Eight that they are not in awe of any NPFL side.
Sporting Lagos won the Naija Super Eight beating established NPFL sides.
It is a bold NPFL prediction, but the new darling of Nigerian football will stay up.
4 – Bendel Insurance will not qualify for the continent
Last season, Bendel Insurance went 21 games unbeaten to top their group and qualify for the NPFL Super Six playoffs.
There were plenty of expectations from the Benin Arsenal, but they faltered towards the end.
Insurance showed a lack of depth last term and lost plenty of gas.
Towards the end of the season, the Benin Arsenal were running on fumes and managed to cross the finish line.
The Benin Arsenal have lost the surprise element, and no team will take them lightly this term.
Insurance has not been busy in the transfer market. If the Benin Arsenal makes it to the group stage of the Confederation Cup, it would stretch them.
3 – Gombe United, Niger Tornadoes and Bayelsa United are the top candidates to go down
Another bold NPFL prediction is Gombe United, Bayelsa United and Niger Tornadoes, who struggled last season, will do so again. They were fortunate to escape relegation last term.
Not much has changed in personnel, and these teams will have to up their game to avoid playing in relegation waters.
Their home form was one of the reasons for their poor performance last season. Bayelsa United won six games last term, the same with Tornadoes.
Enugu Rangers would have been on the least, but the Flying Antelopes have a way of bouncing back after a poor campaign.
Another team that should beware of battling against relegation. The Afonja Warriors lost several players, with only 16 of their players from last term remaining.
They also recruited 19 players – a recipe for disaster.
2 – Doma United, Plateau United and Akwa United to give the big guns a run for their money
Doma, Plateau and Akwa United are three teams no one expects to win the NPFL 2023/24 title, but they will be the spoilers this season.
They will give the top dogs a run for their money and may likely slip into the top four this term.
The big-name teams like Enyimba, Rivers United, Remo Stars and Enugu Rangers will take them lightly at their peril.
Before we delve into our top NPFL prediction for this season, here is a bonus tip
Kano Pillars and Enugu Rangers (who had a poor 2022/23 season) will cause a stir. One of them will make it into the top four.
1 – Enyimba and Rivers United to challenge for the title
Our final NPFL prediction favours the defending champion, Enyimba.
Many tip Remo Stars to make a run for the title this term. Their ouster from the CAF Champions League is a massive bonus to their cause.
However, Enyimba, who are also out of the CAF Champions League, are the heavy favourites to retain the title they won last term.
The People’s Elephant are chasing a tenth title, with Rivers United the only side with the credentials to challenge them for the NPFL title.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago