By Adeboye Amosu in Kano: Nigeria Professional Football League champions Plateau United will begin their title defence with a tricky away fixture against Nasarawa United in Lafia on January 14, Completesportsnigeria com reports.
The draw for the 2017/2018 NPFL season was conducted on Sunday at the Bristol Palace Hotel here in Kano.
MFM FC who came second last season will start their campaign on the road as they will be up against Abia Warriors at the Umuahia Township Stadium.
One of the star fixtures of the opening day will see seven-time champions Enyimba who finished in the third position last term confront Lobi Stars in Makurdi.
Akwa United and Enugu Rangers will also slug it out at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo in another big encounter of match day one.
Former champions Heartland who are back in the top flight after spending a season in the Nigeria National League will host Sunshine Stars on the opening day.
According to the breakdown of the calendar earlier released by the League Management Company, there will be three midweek matches on match days 2, 4 and 5 while the mid- season break will be from April 30- May 5 and a longer break for the FIFA World Cup from June 14-July 15.
Resumption from the World Cup break will be on July 18 with match day 25 which will be the first of another three midweek matches in the second stanza.
The other two midweek fixtures will be on match day 27 and 29.
Barring any unforseen circumstances, the season is expected to end on September 20, 2018.
WEEK ONE FIXTURES
Katsina United vs Kano Pillars
Rivers United vs El Kanemi Warriors
Akwa United vs Enugu Rangers
Kwara United vs Niger Tornadoes
FC Ifeanyiubah vs Yobe Desert Stars
Lobi Stars. vs Enyimba
Nasarawa United vs Plateau United
Heartland vs Sunshine Stars
Abia Warriors vs MFM FC
Wikki Tourists vs Go Round FC