NPFL start date revealed – Here are the early favourites for Enyimba’s crown

NPFL start date revealed – Here are the early favourites for Enyimba’s crown
Credit: @NPFL_News Twitter

The Nigeria news media is abuzz with the NPFL 2023/24 season kick-off date as revealed on Wednesday by the Chairman of the Nigeria Professional Football League, Honourable Gbenga Elegbeleye.

Elegbele revealed that the new NPFL season will start on 26 August 2023 with the winner of the NPFL at the end of the season billed to cart home N150 million, a N50 million improvement from what NPFL champions, Enyimba, got last season.

Speaking after the inauguration of the newly constituted board of the Nigeria Professional Football League by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau, Mr. Elegbeleye said that the kick-off date is sacrosanct, adding that all arrangements have been concluded.

“The kick off-date is definite, we have taken that to ensure the smooth sailing of the new season with the intention to align with the European season.

“We hope the season ends on schedule with consideration of other football programs of the Nigeria Football Federation.

“Last season, the league winners got N100 million as prize money. This season, we are offering an improved package of N150 million with some of the prize money earmarked for facility improvement and players’ welfare.

“We want every club to update their stadia and improve their players’ remuneration for better performance”.

NPFL team to beat: Enyimba FC

NPFL team, Enyimba FC
Credit: @EnyimbaFC

First, we'll like to establish that Enyimba is the team to beat this season. After pocketing N100 million for winning the league last season, the People's Elephants have earmarked a sizable sum for recruitment and strengthening of the squad ahead of the new season.

Bearing in mind the champions will be competing in the NPFL, the Aiteo Cup and the CAF Champions League, the Aba club have made additions to their squad, and will look to make more in order to compete favourably on all fronts this season.

With the kick-off date confirmed for 2023/24 NPFL season, and everything now set in place for the league's commencement according to Elegbeleye, GoalBall brings you the early favourite teams to challenge Enyimba for the 2023/24 NPFL trophy.

Rivers United

NPFL team, Rivers United
Credit: Icon Sport

Rivers United narrowly missed out on defending their league crown last season on inferior goal difference over the league champions, Enyimba FC.

The oil-rich State club have made some considerable additions to their squad ahead of the 2023/24 NPFL season, as they're eager to string two league titles in three years.

With the seasoned gaffer, Stanley Eguma, as coach of the side, Rivers United are one of the favourites to win the 2023/24 league title.

Remo Stars

The Remo Stars team led by Daniel Ogunmodede were impressive in the last campaign, narrowly missing out on the league title on inferior goal difference.

The Ikenne club played the best football last season in the league, dominating their opponents with their possession football.

The last season's NPFL runners-up will be aiming for the crown this season, and with a squad large enough to compete on all fronts, Ogunmodede and his men are one of the favourites to claim the 2023/24 NPFL title.

Bendel Insurance

NPFL team, Bendel Insurance
Credit: @BendelInsurance

Monday Adigie's outfit were unbeaten in 26 straight games last season across all competitions. They won the 2023 Aiteo Cup (Nigeria FA Cup), and they can build on that ahead of the new season.

Bendel Insurance will be hoping to reproduce their abridged season form of the last campaign, as the league returns for 38 matchdays in the 2023/24 season.

The Benin Arsenal have exciting players amongst their ranks; the likes of Ismail Sarki, Divine Nwachukwu and Imade Osarenkhoe. These players make Insurance one of the favourites to win the title.

Sporting Lagos

NPFL team, Sporting Lagos
Credit: @SportingLagos

Sporting Lagos are a wildcat team who should be taken seriously. The Lagos based club only got promoted into the NPFL this season. They showed tremendous growth in the last one year as they scripted history in the NNL Super 8 playoffs, to emerge as one of two teams that gained promotion into the league from the Southern Conference playoff group.

To show their rise is not a fluke, Sporting Lagos emerged as champions in the Naija Super 8 pre-season tournament, which the league's heavyweights participated in.

With that in mind, Sporting Lagos makes the last name on our list of early favourites for the NPFL title for 2023/24 season.

This article was most recently revised and updated 11 months ago

Joseph is a freelance writer who spends most of his time writing engaging football contents. Based in Nigeria, Joseph is a die-hard Real Madrid fan with over 8 years experience in the sports betting space. He has covered football match previews, predictions, and news across leagues in Africa and Europe.