NPFL Matchday 10: Expect change at the top

Kano Pillars clash with Enyimba LMC Media

Kano Pillars and Enyimba will both fancy their chances of toppling Akwa United at the top of the Nigeria Professional Football League in this weekend's top-flight action.

The potential match of the weekend takes place between Enugu Rangers and Pillars at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu

Understandably, the untimely death of Pillars skipper Chinedu Udoji has diverted attention away from the on-field action in this traditional blockbuster, and it remains to be seen how his former teammates will cope in light of Sunday's tragedy. Given both teams' strong recent form, and considering four of the last six meetings have produced goals at both ends, the match could yet be one of the most engrossing matches of the campaign.

A win for third-place Pillars - a first of the season away from home - would guarantee them top spot at the end of the weekend, with Akwa United and Plateau United both out of action.

Enyimba could leapfrog Kano Pillars into top spot with a home win against Sunshine Stars at the UJ Esuene Stadium.

The People's Elephant, fourth on the table, are in good form after going unbeaten in six, and have momentum on their side ahead of this very winnable fixture.

Sunshine Stars appear to have suffered a recent dip in form, and were hammered away to the champions and then held to a frustrating home draw by Pillars a fortnight ago.

Added to a recent LMC sanction, Sunshine also have to worry about former star winger Stanley Dimgba, Enyimba's current star man with four goals in his last six games.

MFM FC will temporarily switch focus from their exciting CAF Champions League campaign and back to domestic league duties when they welcome Lobi Stars to Lagos.

The church-sponsored team have improved in recent weeks, climbing out of the drop zone into 11th position, while Lobi Stars, sixth on the log, head into this away fixture on the back of three successive away defeats, all ending in lone-goal losses.

It should be a testing tie for a thin MFM squad, a fourth game in a fortnight in all competitions, and this, coupled with Lobi's poor goal return on the road, means this encounter could struggle to replicate their previous high-scoring fixtures.

A fired-up Kwara United are home to Rivers United on a day in which the Port Harcourt-based team can only hope for both a first away goal and point of the season.

The Harmony Boys were impressive in their thrilling comeback at Nasarawa United, with Stephen Alfred the star of the show with his fourth and fifth goals of the season.

A fourth successive home win would drag Kwara United out of the relegation zone and, perhaps more importantly, would extend their best spell since returning to the top flight - boosting morale in the process.