Nigeria Professional Football League defending champions Enyimba FC make the trip to the New Jos Stadium to face table-toppers Plateau United on Sunday looking to strengthen their grip on top ten positions in the Premier League standings.
Meanwhile, the Tin City-based team head into the contest having moved five points clear above the visitors, with the Enyimba having two games at hand due to CAF continental engagement last weekend.
Despite their continental engagement the Aba Elephant have been able to stay afloat to retain the title this season, with 15 points from 9 games and with two games at hand and completing the top ten is not a fluke.
During a period, they have managed to maintain their 100% home record, forcing fellow league title contender Lobi Stars and held NPFL returnee Jigawa Golden Stars 1-1 draw respectively.
Meanwhile, they are yet to record maximum points away from home compare to Lobi Stars, Dakkada FC, Sunshine Stars and MFM FC of Lagos.
To some degree, Usman Abd’Allah witnessing his players perform with class against Jigawa Golden Stars in their last away game will surely frustrate Abdul Maikaba, who did not hide his disappointment after the previous draw at home against Kano Pillars in matchday 8.
Most of the attention this season has been focused on Plateau United backline and a youthful attack, they have scored goals than any other any team this season. With Abdul Maikaba hinted that the mission this season is to win the NPFL title at all cost.
The performance creates a selection dilemma for Abdul Maikaba in the dugout, although it is one which he will like having when no-one in his squad is producing the consistency he is demanding.
Despite the massive defeat in the hand of Abia Warriors, the Tin City-based side still top the league standings with 21 points from twelve games and with a goal facing a team like Enyimba on Sunday would a big test for them.
The Tin City side have only registered four wins at the New Jos Stadium from 6 attempts, their style of play has regularly caused problems for their opponents this season.
That said, Enyimba desperately needed their success against Plateau United this weekend after forcing Jigawa Golden Stars to 1-1 draw in their last away outing in Kano.
There is the perception that Plateau United are a team on the up under Abdul Maikaba, something which may be the case, but their last away game loss to Abia Warriors had highlighted the need for serious in the team’s dugout and over displays which are easy on the eye.
The manner of the victory over the giant Killers and Kwara United earlier in the season delivered both of those aspects, with Ibrahim Mustapha Yuga, Daniel Itodo, Bernard Ovoke, Uche Owuasonanya and Charles Henlong scoring brilliantly-taken individual goals to get off the mark for the season.
With more breathing space to work with, Abdul Maikaba will now hope that his players can replicate that performance against FC Ifeanyi Ubah, who outplayed them at New Jos Stadium in the campaign.
The encounter is expected to be an interesting match to watch.
David Obiazo could be in goal for the first time this season, as Dele Ajiboye is reportedly to drop from his position after a poor outing against Abia Warriors
Plateau United is expected to come strongly against the visitors with a massive attack as well as a well-guided defence backline
Enyimba might not want to go all out against much plateau united attack, they will be hoping to form some form blocked for the much dread Plateau United.
Platea United NPFL League form: LWDWLDWD
Enyimba FC NPFL League form: LDDLWWL
Plateau United possible starting lineup:
David Obiazo, Daniel Itodo, Amma Umar, Andrew Ikefe, Ibrahim Mustapha, Charles Henlong, Buahri Ibrahim, Bernard Ovoke, Nenrot SilasOche Selifu Ochowechi
Enyimba FC possible starting lineup:
Nwabali Okorom, Darkwah, Manyo, Adebayo Farouk, Guera, Olisema, Ojo Mbaoma, Obi
Last matches Plateau United
Abia Warriors 3-0 Plateau United
Plateau United 1-0 Warri Wolves FC
Enugu Rangers 0-0 Plateau United
Plateau United 5-1 FC Ifeanyi Ubah
Heartland Owerri 1-0 Plateau United
Plateau United 0-0 Kano Pillars
Kwara United 1-3 Plateau United
Nasarawa United 1-1 Plateau United
Last matches Enyimba
Paradou AC 1- 0 Enyimba
Jigawa Golden Stars 1-1 Enyimba
Enyimba FC 1-1 Lobi Stars
Dakkada FC 2-1 Enyimba FC
Enyimb 1-0 Rivers United FC
Enyimba 1-0 San Pedro
Hassania Agadir 2-0 Enyimba
Head to Head
Enyimba 1-0 Plateau United
Enyimba 1-0 Plateau United
Plateau United 3-1 Enyimba FC
Plateau United 2-0 Enyimba FC
Enyimba 1-0 Plateau United
Enyimba 3-0 Plateau United
Plateau United 1-0 Enyimba FC
Teams Plateau United Enyimba played so far 7 matches.
Plateau United won 3 direct matches. Enyimba won 4 matches. 0 matches ended in a draw. On average in direct matches both teams scored a 1.86 goals per Match.
Plateau United in actual season average scored 1.03 goals per match. In 8 (50.00%) matches played at home was total goals (team and opponent) Over 1.5 goals. In 5 (31.25%) matches in season 2020 played at home was total goals (team and opponent) Over 2.5 goals.
Enyimba average scored 1.18 goals per match in season 2020. In 10 (52.63%) matches played away was total goals (team and opponent) Over 1.5 goals. In 5 (26.32%) matches played away team was total goals (team and opponent) Over 2.5 goals.