Nigerian Premier League Finale Preview – MFM and Abia Warriors to survive Relegation
Unless you are the most inconceivable cynic in the world or an irredeemable optimist, you won’t be betting against Rangers to lift the title this weekend. All the Enugu side need to do to bottle this up is lose massively at home to a team whose win at home win/away loss syndrome have been legendary this season, and their closest rivals for the title, Rivers United massively win away (quite an almost impossible fit in the NPFL).
Away from the top and down to the bottom, two relegation places are still yet to be filled, with the last place already taken up by Lagos club, Ikorodu United. Four teams, Abia Warriors, Heartland, MFM and Warri Wolves still stands the risk of kissing the league goodbye by Monday. We will look at the likeliest two to go down and the likeliest two to remain.
Plateau United FC vs Heartland FC
Rangers Int’l FC vs El-Kanemi Warriors
Warri Wolves FC vs Ikorodu United FC
Wikki Tourists FC vs Sunshine Stars FC
Abia Warriors FC vs Shooting Stars FC
Akwa United FC vs Rivers United FC
Lobi Stars FC vs Nasarawa FC
MFM FC vs FC Ifeanyi Ubah
Kano Pillars vs Niger Tornadoes FC
Likeliest Teams to Stay up
The likeliest team to survive the relegation hailstorm on Sunday is Abia Warriors. They play at home to already safe Shooting Stars needing just a point. Even a loss might still see them survive if other results go their way. But the Abia boys will be relegated if they lose and any of these two results materialise; if MFM get a victory against the Ubah boys, Heartland win away and/or Warri Wolves blow out Ikorodu utd by at least 5-0 at home. In truth, the worst result Abia Warriors can get at home this weekend is a draw, they face a team who have only won once away.
The second likely team to enjoy another season at the top flight is MFM, they have a tricky home game against Ifeanyi Ubah at the Agege Stadium. The Ubah boys still have a chance of playing on the continent, so they will be very up for this game. The Church team will stay up if they win and Heartland fail to win away to Plateau United. Even a draw might still see them stay up if Heartland lose outrightly and Warri Wolves fail to win at home. A loss will definitely see MFM sink into the lower division. But with the backing of the ever present Agege and crowd, MFM should have little problems overcoming their opponent on Sunday
Likeliest Teams to go down
Heartland face a very difficult trip to the North Central away to Plateau United and need to do what no other teams have done this season in Jos, beat their host on Sunday. Plateau United have remained unbeaten at home this season, winning eleven and drawing six. A draw for Heartland will only be enough to survive relegation if both their nearest relegation challengers, MFM and Warri Wolves fail to win both their home games. That’s very unlikely to happen, making Heartland a likely candidate for the drop.
The second team likely to get relegated after this weekend is Warri Warriors. They will need to beat already relegated, Ikorodu utd in Warri and hope both Heartland and MFM fail to win their respective games. If MFM wins, the Warri boys will need to beat Ikorodu silly (by at least 6-0) depending on MFM’s winning margin.
Plateau United FC 1-0 Heartland FC
Warri Wolves FC 2-0 Ikorodu United FC
Abia Warriors FC 4-0 Shooting Stars FC
MFM FC 2-1 FC Ifeanyi Ubah
Table’s Outlook after Prediction