By James Agberebi:
Former Enugu Rangers coach Lawrence Akpokona has predicted a close finish in the race for the Nigeria Professional Football League title this season, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
With seven games left before the season ends, Plateau United are top of the league table on 55 points, MFM FC are second on 52 points, Akwa United have 51 points in third place, while Enyimba are fourth with 47 points.
"I think we are going to see a photo finish," Akpokona told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"At a time it looked like it was just a two-horse race between MFM and Plateau United. But just of recent we have seen the emergence of Akwa United who started very badly but have picked up very well and since then they've not looked back. They've been able to gather points and momentum and are up there now.
"So from the way the league is going now, the title can go to any of the top three. But Plateau have been very consistent, they've been up there for a long time. MFM too have been consistent and don't rule out Akwa especially when you look at the force in which they've emerged.
"Another team that must not be overlooked or underrated is Enyimba because of their experience. For me, any of these top four can win it."
And on the current position of his former club Rangers who are in the relegation zone in 17th position, Akpokona called on everybody involved in the club to put their act together to avoid being relegated.
He added: "I don't know how to describe Rangers' performance this season. It is difficult to see Rangers in that kind of position. You always see Rangers in the top bracket. To look at the foot of the league table and find Rangers there is very worrying.
"And with the kind of in-fighting in the club, it could play a part in them being relegated.
"So if they don't put their house in order, they might go the way of Stationary Stores and Shooting Stars. Nobody believed that Stores and Shooting Stars could be relegated but it happened.
"I will advise them to put their house in order otherwise anything can happen."