Enyimba, Insurance in top-of-table clash as NPFL resumes

The Nigeria Professional Football League makes a return with a mouthwatering clash between eight-time champions Enyimba and this season’s best performers Bendel Insurance on match-day 10 of the 2023 abridged season in Aba on Sunday (today), Sunday PUNCH reports.

The first leg of the fixture rounded off the first stanza of the NPFL in February with Enyimba losing 1-0.

The Aba Elephants will be looking to avenge the defeat they suffered in Benin City.

With 23 points out of a possible 27, Insurance are seven points ahead of second-placed Enyimba who have 16, and they will be aiming to extend their unbeaten run to 10 games.

The encounter will see the league’s leading scorer Chukwuemeka Obioma with seven goals coming up against Imade Osarenkhoe, in the second place with six coming to the fore again. Obioma would go out to prove himself again in front of Aba fans after he was silenced in the first leg when Imade’s goal made the difference.

Both teams have been tuning up for the second half of the season and it seems Enyimba have done the most for the two sides by adding last season’s top scorer, Chijioke Akuneto to their squad.

Bendel Insurance had a quiet break ahead of the resumption with their coach, Monday Odigie confident his team will continue from where they left off.

“We can say we are almost ready for the start of the second half of the season,” Odigie said.

“We have a few days left, and it is time to step up preparations for the task ahead.”

In other games in Group A, third-placed Akwa United will look to keep up pace with the frontrunners (Enyimba and Insurance) when they host struggling five-time champions, 3SC in Uyo.

Plateau United, who is fourth, hosts Gombe United while Remo Stars will aim to bounce back to winning ways when they take on relegation-threatened Nasarawa United.

In Group B, leaders Lobi Stars, who are on 19 points, travel to fifth-placed Doma United of Gombe, while defending champions Rivers United, a point behind the group leaders, welcome fourth-placed Abia Warriors.

Seven-time champions Enugu Rangers will be hoping to revive their ailing campaign when they host relegation-threatened Bayelsa United. Four defeats and three draws in the opening half of the season means the Flying Antelopes are in seventh place on nine points while Bayelsa is a point and a place below.

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