Nigeria Premier Football League leaders, Lobi Stars will tomorrow take on defending champions, Enyimba of Aba at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba in what no doubt will be the pick of the Matchday 9 of the NPFL.
Having defeated Enugu Rangers, Bayelsa United and Sporting Lagos in a row, the Pride of Benue will however want to make tomorrow’s encounter against the People’s Elephant their fourth straight win in the league.
Though the league’s defending champions have not been too impressive this season having lost three matches in the league so far this season but will not be an easy nut to crack for Lobi Stars when both sides clash tomorrow.
The Finidi George’s side would quickly want to get back to winning ways against Lobi Stars after losing 1-0 to Kano Pillars at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano, to Abba Adam’s second half strike last weekend and losing by the same margin to Doma United mid-week at the Pantami Stadium, courtesy of Hilary Ekawu’s goal in the 17th minute.
The Markurdi side would however be boosted by injury to Enyimba defender Chigozie Chilekwu who has been ruled out for three weeks with a groin injury after being stretchered off against Kano Pillars last weekend.
The player missed the Aba giants’ rescheduled matchday four fixture against Doma United on Wednesday which Enyimba suffered a 1-0 defeat in the encounter.
Before his injury, the 27-year-old left-back had featured in all of Enyimba’s league matches this season.
Chilekwu is expected to miss the week nine and 10 matches against Lobi Stars and Heartland, respectively.
The reigning NPFL champions occupy 17th position with seven points from six games.
Meanwhile, Lobi Stars goalkeeper, Atsaka Daniel has urged his teammates not to get carried away by the recent success of the team.
The Pride of Benue currently top the Nigeria Premier Football League, NPFL, table with 17 points.
Atsaka encouraged the team to work harder in subsequent matches.
“We are taking each game one after the other. We are not carried away with our results so far in the NPFL. The team still have a lot of work to do in subsequent matches,” he told Lobi Stars Media.
However, Lobi Stars defender, Sunday Chinedu, has revealed that the club’s target is to secure a continental ticket at the end of the 2023-24 NPFL season.
Chinedu got the lone goal for Eugene Agagbe’s side in the win against Sporting Lagos last weekend.
The former Kano Pillars player expressed confidence in the team’s ability to maintain their position on the summit.
“Our utmost priority is to secure a continental ticket at the end of the season,” he said in a post-match interview.
“We have started a good move and we are hard to achieve it. We believe we are going to maintain our position on the table.”
Lobi Stars’ comeback victory over Bayelsa United in Yenagoa last weekend sent them to the summit of the league for the first time since matchday 19 of the 2019/20 season. They eventually finished fourth after 25 games in an abridged format.