The first round of matches in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) for this decade beckons this weekend across various centres in the country.
Jigawa Golden Stars and Akwa United have been offered the chance to edit the history books of Nigerian football when both sides meet earlier at Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano, on Saturday, in the breakfast installment of this weekend’s menu.
At Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Dakkada FC and Adamawa United – separated by 7 points and 12 places on the log – will renew rivalry.
Whereas this will be the first top-flight meeting between these sides, but United will be hunted by frightful memories of a 0-2 loss to Dakkada at the Cathedral, Enugu, on September 15, 2019, in the final of last season’s Nigeria National League (NNL) Super-4 tournament.
Dakkada, who went on to be crowned 2019 NNL Champions, have seamlessly settled into life in the big time but the same cannot be said of Adamawa United who have already suffered 7 losses in 11 outings and are, at present, submerged in the relegation waters.
Coach Mohammed Bello was handed a three-month suspension by the management of Adamawa United in the aftermath of the team’s home loss to Rivers United last Sunday but the home town Coach had often decried the lack of freshness in his squad.
Adamawa United still retain about 95% of the players who executed last season’s NNL on their payroll and had to deploy eight of those in last Sunday’s starting eleven at the Pantami.
There will be a sense of familiarity between the two sets of players as United’s goalkeeper Pwadadi Bulus, Mbai Aminu, Lukman Surajo, Edward Elam and Yahaya Ismaila as well as striker Bobby Abel, who all featured against Dakkada in Enugu last September, are expected to make this Sunday’s starting berth.
Dakkada FC will be buoyed by the recent complete and up-to-date payment of their match bonuses and will be hoping to quickly get into the goal-scoring groove on Sunday.
While that is a good thought to nurse, Coach Caleb Esu, who will be without at least three players due to suspension, must spare a thought on how Adamawa United were able to brush aside Katsina United by 4-0 on December 1, 2019.
Kick-Off in Uyo is at four o’clock in the afternoon while live text updates are available on Dakkada’s social media handles.
Sunshine Stars 1-1 Dakkada
Dakkada 0-1 Akwa United
Adamawa Utd 0-2 Rivers Utd
MFM FC 2-0 Adamawa Utd
MFM FC Vs Dakkada
Dakkada Vs Rivers Utd
Adamawa Utd Vs Lobi Stars
Jigawa GS Vs Adamawa Utd