6 NPFL predictions: Matchday 20

6 NPFL predictions: Matchday 20
Credit: NPFL_News on X

Following the postponement of the NPFL fixtures for Matchday 20, action returns to the league this weekend.

Lobi Stars sit atop the league with one point of their closest rival, Remo Stars, but will see the might of traditional rivals Plateau United as a massive test.

The question most followers of the NPFL are asking is whether there will be any surprises this weekend.

Outcomes in the NPFL this weekend could see several reshuffles of places on the log, with many expecting the league leadership to change hands.

NPFL Week 20 predictions

Traditional rivals to set Aba alight

Enyimba v Shooting Stars

Enyimba in the NPFL
Photo by Icon Sport

Following their 1-0 win over Rivers United, Shooting Stars travel to Aba in a buoyant mood.

It is usually a cracker when both sides clash, as their rivalry dates back to the 70s.

The Oluyole Warriors clash with Enyimba in Aba in another exciting NPFL game to exact their pound of flesh, as the People's Elephant inflicted a 2-1 loss on them in their last encounter at the Lekan Salami Stadium.

Prediction.
Enyimba is challenging to retain their title. They sit just four points behind league leaders Lobi Stars and know a win could draw them closer to the league leaders.

In the last four encounters between both sides at Aba, Enyimba has won four times and drawn one. The Aba warlords will hope to continue that streak. Enyimba to win 1-0.

Lobi Stars storm Jos as they seek to consolidate their position

Plateau United v Lobi Stars

There have been friendly banter between league leaders Lobi Stars and Plateau United.

The Makurdi-based side has a spring in their steps that smacks of confidence. It comes from winning games.

They sit atop the NPFL league table with 36 points, with Remo Stars, Doma United and Enyimba breathing down their necks.

Plateau United are hard to beat at home and boast a 100% record with nine wins. However, Lobi Stars boast the second-best away record with two wins and two draws.

Prediction
In their last five home ties against Lobi Stars, the only blemish in their record is a 0-0 draw in 2021 and 2017.

Plateau United wants revenge after losing 1-0 away to Lobi Stars. The Jos-based side should win this one 1-0.

Can Rivers United withstand the Doma United sting?

Rivers United v Doma United

Rvers United celebrate a goal in the NPFL
Photo by Icon sport

It has not been the kind of season the Pride of Rivers expected, especially with their continental commitments. The Port Harcourt-based side is yet to find its feet in the NPFL this season.

They need to get positive results if they hope to return to the continent next season. However, the Pride of Rivers will have their hands full against the Desert Scorpions.

Prediction
When the stakes are high, Rivers United usually delivers, but how will they navigate their path against Doma United, who have been a revelation this season?

Rivers United should nick this one 1-0.

Ochendo Babes put their formidable home record on the line

Abia Warriors v Remo Stars

Abia Warriors have an impressive home form this season, but it will face a stern test when the Sky Blues come to town.

Abia Warriors are doing well in the NPFL this season, thanks to a solid home form. They have only drawn once at home and won eight.

Against Remo Stars, who have picked seven points on the road and seek to upstage Lobi Stars for the top spot, Abia Warriors have a massive battle on their hands.

Prediction
In their last three home encounters, Abia Warriors have not lost to Remo Stars. They have also kept clean sheets in all with a win.

It is one unpredictable NPFL tie, but it should favour the home side. The best Remo Stars will get is a 0-0 draw.

Can the Flying Antelopes gallop over the Promise Keepers?

Enugu Rangers v Akwa United

Enugu Rangers team photo NPFL
Credit: Enugu Rangers Facebook

Enugu Rangers started the season on fire and was one of the early contenders for the NPFL.

They lost steam midway into the first half of the season but are now clawing their way back to the top.

They seem to have rediscovered some of their mojo and have returned to winning ways with two wins from their last three games.

Prediction
Not many teams visit the Flying Antelopes and return with something. They have only dropped points at home once this season – a 1-1 draw against Katsina United.

Enugu Rangers lost their last encounter to Akwa United 1-0 and will hope to pick all three points in this tie.

Enugu Rangers to win 2-1.

Sporting Lagos v Bendel Insurance

Sporting Lagos are fresh off a 1-0 win over Rivers United. The question is, are they back to winning ways?

The win should reignite some confidence in the Lagos boys, but they are up against a Bendel Insurance side with one of the meanest defences in the NPFL this season.

The Benin Arsenal has conceded just eight goals from nine NPFl games on the road.

Prediction
Sporting Lagos have not been in the best form in their debut NPFL season.

They have to up their game against Insurance to get maximum points. The Beni Arsenal should be able to get a point from this game. A 0-0 draw is the most likely result.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 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.