NPFL week 31: 5 predictions – The battle gets tighter

NPFL week 31: 5 predictions – The battle gets tighter
Credit @EnyimbaFC X

The NPFL week 31 games promise to be exciting as the season enters its final stretch with Enugu Rangers sitting atop the table.

As we have said repeatedly, with the teams taking the final curve, there is little room for error. 

Any slip at this stage could be disastrous.

Enugu Rangers will play one of its most difficult ties when they play guests to Rivers United in an NPFL week 31 game.

The Flying Antelopes know how difficult it is to get a point from Rivers United but know the burden of not doing so.

The heat is on as Lobi Stars, Remo Stars, Enyimba, Plateau United and Shooting Stars breathe down the neck of the league leaders.

With a 100% prediction record last week, we give you our predictions for the NPFL week 31 fixtures.

NPFL Week 31 predictions

Lobi Stars in vital search for three points against Bendel Insurance

NPFL week 31: Lobi Stars
Credit @LobiStars X

Lobi Stars are third on the NPFL table and are three points behind league leaders Enugu Rangers in a tightly contested season.

The Makurdi-based side will host Bendel Insurance in an NPFL week 31 game, and they hope their top scorer, Samuel Tiza Iorwuese, is at his scoring best.

Iorwuese has three goals from his last six games and will fancy his chances against Bendel Insurance in a yo-yo form.

The Benin Arsenal is hard to predict, as it is tough to ascertain what form they will come with.

Prediction: Lobi Stars are buoyed by their desire to win the league and are not far from their goal. The Makurdi-based side is yet to lose any game and will see Insurance as a fair game.

Lobi Stars to win.

Can Remo Stars shine against Plateau United? 

NPFL week 31: Remo Stars dare plateau united
Photo by Icon Sport

Remo Stars are up against Plateau United with a slight hope of upstaging the Tin City lads.

The Sky Blues are looking to repeat the act of May 2023, when they beat Plateau United in their backyard. They have not lost to Plateau United since their 1-0 loss in April 2022.

However, Plateau United is still in with a shout to win the league. They have 47 points and are sixth on the log.

A win for Remo Stars will seriously boost their chances of winning the league.

Prediction: Plateau United have only one loss this season and will not want a repeat of the 1-2 home loss to Akwa United. Remo Stars have picked two points from their last two away matches, but they're against sides struggling badly for form.

Plateau United to win marginally.

Enugu Rangers dare Rivers United in Port Harcourt

NPFL week 31: Enugu Rangers in draw against Kwara United
Credit @KwaraUnitedFC Twitter

Enugu Rangers face off against Rivers United in one of their most difficult games in the run-in to the end of the season.

The pride of Rivers is playing catch up, but it's because they have played six less matches than the other sides.

They are in the relegation zone and want to remedy the situation. Of the four top six sides that have come to Port Harcourt, none has left with any point.

Rivers United will count on their formidable home form to overcome Enugu Rangers.

Prediction: Enugu Rangers have the most points on the road (13) and have scored the most goals too. They managed to beat Rivers United 1-0 in Enugu. A loss will not damage their league chances too much, but they will hope for at least a point.

The best Enugu Rangers can get is a draw.

Enyimba seeks a third straight, away win against Sunshine Stars 

NPFL Week 31: Enyimba route Kano Pillars
Credit @EnyimbaFC X

Sunshine Stars may not be in the best form, but they are one of the few sides that has not lost a home game.

The Owena Waves are just playing for their survival in the topflight but will make it a difficult occasion for Enyimba in their NPFL week 31 fixture.

Enyimba has also been swinging like a yo-yo and needs to post some consistent form to overtake Enugu Rangers in their quest to defend their title successfully.

Akure has been a good hunting ground for Enyimba, with the People's Elephant enjoying slim victories in their last two visits.

Prediction: Sunshine Stars have more than pride at stake in this game. They are a few points above the relegation zone and would want to avoid the drop.

Another win in Akure will be hard to get for Enyimba, but don't rule out a draw.

Kano Pillars to feast on struggling Gombe United

Kano Pillars have not been in fine form in recent weeks. Sai Masu Gida have been in poor form, winning just one of their last nine games. The win came in a 1-0 home win over Sporting Lagos.

Against Gombe United, they should find respite, as the Savannah Scorpions are in worse form than Kano Pillars.

Gombe United look destined for the drop. They have won only once in their last 17 games. The win came in a 2-0 home win over Sporting Lagos.

The Savannah Scorpions need to up their game to get anything against Sai Masu Gida in Kano.

Prediction: Kano Pillars will fancy their chances against a struggling Gombe United. Three points will be vital but in the larger scheme of things, will not do much in their quest for a top-four finish.

Kano Pillars to win.

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. Chooka has a passion for football and has been a fan of Enugu Rangers (over 30 years) and Real Madrid (Since 1996).