5 NPFL predictions for 2023/24 season: Enyimba heavy favourites?

5 NPFL predictions for 2023/24 season: Enyimba heavy favourites?
Credit @Allsportztv Twitter

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 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

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

npfl prediction Bendel Insurance will look to win the NPFL this season
Credit: Icon Sport

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

npfl prediction doma united
Credit @domaunitedfc Twitter

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.

Bonus prediction

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

npfl prediction enyimba line up
Credit @EnyimbaFC Twitter

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 10 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter. Chooka has a passion for football and has been a fan of Enugu Rangers (over 30 years) and Real Madrid (Since 1996).