Good Morning All.
With the Lobi Stars defeat behind us we turn our attention to what really matters and that’s the upcoming fixtures, the run-in and the strongest finish possible in these last few weeks. Just a little digressing from today’s theme, I bet you’ve not seen the tweets of complaints regarding questionable officiating last Sunday in Makurdi.
Anyway, today’s subject is on where the title could be headed by October. It’s safe to say that although we are Mathematically still in the race, it looks like only a miracle can hand us back the League title this season. Mathematically in that, a winning streak in these remaining fixtures will surely get the job done. But can we really mount a winning streak?
We could talk a little of the other contenders and just try to predict where this will all go. Imama’s Rangers are high flying now following their spanking of Rivers United at the weekend. That game was United’s best opportunity to show they wanted the title, any kind of point had they gotten it, would’ve aided their course.
However they showed what everyone knew. I think they are of all the title contenders the team with the most defeats. They’re just a weak side away from their stronghold at the Yakubu Gowon. However also, they are the side with the most League wins. In other words, they are where they are courtesy of a home invincibility. And in the Nigerian Professional Football League, that’s a strong weapon for title chasers.
Rangers themselves have been consistent all year. They told everyone they were in it from the start and they have showed it too with a reciprocal performance. They had a poor run at some point but they’ve managed themselves rightly, nicely managing their defensive issues and having seen the finish line, they will want to end a 32 year old wait. I think Rangers have a neutral’s sympathy. They have mine, some of it.
Then there is Wikki Tourists. A side that despite playing in the lower division only 3 years ago are now flexing muscles with the big boys. From Wikki we learn that with the right structure and planning, any team can be a decent team. They like Rivers United have prevailed courtesy of a strong home front and a very awful away form. Who else saw them lose 3-0 to Akwa United?
FC IfeanyiUbah are the next in line. A total overhauling of what was called Gabros United and a remaking of the earlier FC IfeanyiUbah, these guys have landed the better legs out there and now they’ve smelt that success is possible. One of their biggest strengths is their home support. The team has over 6000 supporting them every match day. That ground is probably one of the most intimidating in the NPFL.
But knowing that, as nearly everyone wins at home, it’s what you do away from it that determines your fate. So for these other four teams, that away capability will come under severe test these remaining few games and ultimately that will decide where the title will finally rest. Truth is, at this stage it’s still too close to call.
Of course Rangers fans have their hearts buoyant following what happened with Rivers United on Sunday but with the four remaining match days in wait, and the fact that a lot of the teams lined up for most of these challengers have nothing to play for, away wins may not be unlikely. And you know how that can swing the fortunes of the team who gets them.
It has been the closest title race in the history of the League. Unlike in previous seasons where it’s mainly between two or three. Here we have as many as four or five who stand a realistic chance at this title. I still nurse some faith that we can get the title but that faith is dwindling daily by the things my eyes are seeing.
Yea I know if you wanna work by faith then you leave out the senses and what your eyes see. I also know that faith without works is dead. So maybe I’ll just sit back and watch things unfold. If we win it at the end of the day and that’s a big If, great. If someone else does, I’ll support them and dedicate a post here to them. If that winner is Rangers then they’ll get more than a day’s blog post. Maybe two or three.
I’ll be back tomorrow with the Enyimba vs Wikki match preview. We play them tomorrow in Port Harcourt, I’m sure you’re all aware.