NPFL Finale: Continental Qualification, Relegation Take Centre Stage

It is the final Match Day of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), with plenty to still play for despite Rangers International winning the title in the last match week, as continental qualification and relegation battle takes centre stage.

Rangers could join an exclusive list of clubs that have won the NPFL with 70+ points in a 20-team regular season if they beat Gombe United on Sunday. Rangers have emerged champions of this season with one match day to go. It is their eighth title in the history of the NPFL.

Sunday’s NPFL finale would be a fight to finish at the top and bottom as teams battle for a strong conclusion to the 2023/2024 season.

The race will also be on for the top marksman in the league, with Enyimba striker Chijioke Mbaoma currently leading the way on the goalscoring charts.

Mbaoma has scored 16 goals after Match day 37 and will be looming to extend his lead.

After 370 matches played in the NPFL this season so far, we look back at the numbers that have made this term stand out.

Here is a quick recap of which team and individuals have been involved in the highs and lows of the campaign.

5 – Kano Pillars winger Yusuf Abdullahi, at the moment, is the only player to score more than three goals in a single match this season. Abdullahi scored all five goals in his team’s 5-2 win at Gombe United on Match day 11.

Kano Pillars winger, Yusuf Abdullahi.

6 – Six players have scored hattricks this season. They are Robert Mizo (Bayelsa United; left to go abroad at some point), Yusuf Abdullahi (Kano Pillars), Albert Hillary (Plateau United), Nyima Nwagua (Rivers United), Silas Nenrot (Plateau United), Ubong Friday (Akwa United) and Godwin Obaje (Plateau United).

7 – Remo Stars have been issued the most red cards this season. They have been given seven red cards, one more than outgoing champions Enyimba.

9 – Doma United, on the brink of being relegated, enjoyed the longest run of clean sheets, three more than Rangers during the season.

10 – Champions Rangers have the longest undefeated run this season, avoiding defeat in 10 matches, one more than Doma United.

Rangers International players.

11 – Relegated Heartland hold the longest run without a win this season. They went 11 matches without a win, one more than Doma United and Gombe United with 10 games without a win.

11 – Plateau United’s Silas Nenrot holds the record of scoring the fastest hattrick so far this season. The attacking winger netted three goals in the space of 11 minutes against Gombe United in their 4-0 win over Gombe United on Match day 25.

17 – The fast goal of this season was scored by Wasiu Alalade as his team. Kwara United edged past Remo Stars 3-2. His goal came in 16:18 seconds after kickoff.

33 – Match week 29 has accounted for the most goals in a single match day, one more than Match week 37.

49 – There have been 49 red cards this season.

76 – Bottom-placed Gombe United, who are already relegated, have conceded the most goals this season. They have shipped in 76 goals in total.

822 – After Match week 37, this is the number of goals scored so far.

Sunday’s NPFL fixtures

3SC v SPORTING LAGOS

Kick-off: 4pm (WAT)

Venue: Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan.

BENDEL INSURANCE v BAYELSA UNITED

Kick-off: 4pm (WAT)

Venue: Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.

GOMBE UNITED v RANGERS

Kick-off: 4pm

Venue: New Jos Stadium, Jos.

AKWA UNITED v RIVERS UNITED

Kick-off: 4pm

Venue: Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo.

DOMA UNITED v ABIA WARRIORS

Kick-off: 4pm

Venue: Pantami Stadium, Gombe.

REMO STARS V KATSINA UNITED

Kick-off: 4pm

Venue: Remo Stars Stadium, Ikenne.

NIGER TORNADOES v SUNSHINE STARS

Kick-off: 4pm

Venue: Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.

KWARA UNITED v HEARTLAND

Kick-off: 4pm

Venue: Kwara State Stadium, Ilorin.

KANO PILLARS v LOBI STARS

Kick-off: 4pm

Venue: Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.

ENYIMBA v PLATEAU UNITED

Kick-off: 4pm

Venue: Enyimba Stadium, Aba.

 

Who will be making the drop and who will join Rangers on the continental stage? Follow Voice of Nigeria for more updates.

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