Vanguard (Lagos)

8 March 2013

Nigeria: Premier League Kicks With Oriental War

After Several Delays, the 2012-2013 Nigeria Premier League season officially kicks off tomorrow (Saturday) with Rangers hosting Enyimba in an Oriental war at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in Enugu.

This match holds all the trappings of an heavyweight clash as both teams are the most successful teams in the league. They have won the league shield six times each, but Enyimba hold the better continental credential, courtesy of their two Champions League wins in 2003 and 2004.

It is in this light that the management of the Nigeria Football Premier League fixed it as the curtain raiser for the season while the other matches take place a day after at other grounds.

Even with their remarkable track record, both sides failed to win any trophy last term, which observes feel will act as an extra incentive for them to make the most of the game. And to add colour to the day, Super Eagles home-stars, who are in the team, will be hoping to bring their wealth of experience to bear on the field.

In other matches fixed for Sunday, defending champions, Kano Pillars take their title challenge to Bauchi, where they play Wikki Tourists, Federation Cup winners, Heartland host new boys, Nembe City in Owerri, Sharks welcome Warri Wolves to Port Harcourt, Sunshine Stars host Kaduna United, Shooting Stars confront Gombe United in Ibadan and Dolphins hit the road to play Akwa United.

Kano Pillars' Technical Adviser, , Baba Ganaru said that his side's qualification to the next round of the Caf Champions League would boost the morale of his wards to a bright start in the season.

Kano Pillars overcame the champions of Central Africa Republic, Olympique du Bangui 5-1 on aggregate to set up a tough duel with last year's Caf Confederation Cup winners, AC Leopards.

"We are the defending champions, and we want to maintain our status in the coming season. My boys are ready for the start of the Championship, and a win over Wikki Tourists this weekend will be a great way to start the campaign," said the former El-Kanemi Warriors coach.

Kano Pillars last season won the NPFL title on 61 points despite losing their last game 1-2 at Sunshine Stars on September 7 last year in Ijebu-Ode.

9/03 Enugu Rangers vs Enyimba

10/03 Wikki Tourists vs Kano Pillars

10/03 Nasarawa United vs El-Kanemi Warriors

10/03 Heartland FC vs Nembe City

10/03 Sharks vs Warri Wolves

10/03 Sunshine Stars vs Kaduna United

10/03 ABS FC vs Kwara United

10/03 Shooting Stars vs Gombe United

10/03 Akwa United vs Dolphins FC

10/03 Bayelsa United vs Lobi Stars

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