By Johnny Edward:
El-Kanemi Warriors will host Kano Pillars in one of the biggest fixtures of the Nigeria Professional Football League matchday-17 fixtures on Sunday, reports Completesportsnigeria.
The Desert Warriors are out hunting for their 22nd home win on the bounce at their El-Kanemi Stadium Maiduguri fortress. The have remained invincible at home since April 10 2016.
It looks like the proverbial pulling of chestnuts out of the fire for Pillars at the El-Kanemi Stadium where the Sai Masu Gida lords have only won a game in their last six visits to Maiduguri.
El-kanemi have found it particularly easy doing that by keeping clean sheets in nine of the games played at the El-Kanemi Stadium.
The two sides go into this fixture with indifferent results from their previous game. Kano Pillars dropped two points at home in their 1-1 draw with Nasarawa United, while El-Kanemi Warriors lost 1-0 at 3SC.
The Warriors' leading goal scorer, Samuel Mathias (eight goals), will be hoping to close in on the league top marksman, MFM's Stephen Odey, who has now scored 13 times this term.
Kano Pillars on the other hand saw their two-game winning streak halted with a 1-1 home draw against Nasarawa United at the Sani Abacha stadium. A big win for the Kadiri Ikhana side will see them topple the Warriors' in third spot.
At the UJ Esuene Stadium, a win for Enyimba of Aba at the expense of the struggling champions Enugu Rangers could move Gbenga Ogunbote's side to fourth in the NPFL log, provided Kano Pillars, Niger Tornadoes and Lobi Stars lose.
Rangers International have failed to replicate their impressive last season's showing despite retaining over 90% of the players that won the title for the Flying Antelopes.
Enyimba have won six, lost four and drawn six games so far this term, while Rangers have recorded three wins, four draws and six defeats this term.
Top scorer, Mfon Udoh will be heavily relied on to get the goals for Enyimba.
Plateau United can return to the summit of the log if they claim their 9th win of the season against Wikki Tourist who edged Enyimba in Bauchi in the midweek.
The encounter will be the third time both teams will be meeting in the NPFL with either side winning their home game. And the Kennedy Boboye side looks good to claim another win.
Shooting Stars are looking to making it three wins on the bounce when they face Akwa United at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Sunday. The Oluyole Warriors are 13th in the NPFL log with 19 points from 16 games.
At the Bako Kontagora Stadium, it will be the battle of fifth vs sixth placed teams when Niger Tornadoes host Lobi Stars of Markudi.
Tornadoes have won three of their last five games and are unbeaten at home in their last eight home games while Lobi have been unsuccessful in all eight trips away to Niger Tornadoes.
Gombe United, in search of their sixth win of the season, could capitalize on Rivers United who will be without their Technical manager, Stanley Eguma, for Sunday's NPFL game against Gombe United at the Pantami Stadium in Gombe.
Eguma has been hit with a one match suspension for arriving at the dugout 18 minutes after the kickoff of Wednesday's NPFL game between Rivers United and Plateau United.
Rivers United who finished runner up last season, are currently 19th in the NPFL standings and are also the lowest scoring side in the league so far this term with eight goals.
In the other fixtures, Nasarawa United will host MFM FC at the Lafia Township Stadium.
Sunshine Stars will seek their first away win of the season when they take on FC IfeanyiUbah at the Ifeanyi Ubah international Stadium Nnewi.
Stuttering ABS FC will hope to end their winless streak of four game when they travel to the Umuahia Township Stadium to face Abia Warriors.
Fatai Osho's Remo Stars will aim for their fifth win of the campaign against Katsina United at the Otunba Dipo Dina International Stadium Sagamu.
MATCHDAY 17 FIXTURES
Nasarawa United vs MFM FC, Lafia Township Stadium
Abia Warriors vs ABS FC Umuahia Township Stadium
Akwa United vs Shooting Stars, Godswill Akpabio International Stadium Uyo
FC IfeanyiUbah vs Sunshine Stars, Ifeanyi Ubah Int'l. Stadium Nnewi.
Niger Tornadoes vs Lobi Stars, Bako Kontagora Memorial Stadium Minna
Gombe United vs Rivers United, Pantami Stadium
El-Kanemi Warriors vs Kano Pillars El-Kanemi Stadium
Enyimba vs Enugu Rangers, Enyimba International Stadium
Remo Stars vs Katsina United, Otunba Dipo Dina International Stadium Sagamu
Plateau United vs Wikki Tourist, Rwang Pam Stadium Jos