The Agege Stadium in Lagos is set to come alive once more as the much-anticipated Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) play-offs get underway with the first set of games on Tuesday.
All six teams are in Lagos to fight for the title as well as the continental tickets up for grabs.
Enyimba vs. Enugu Rangers
The NPFL Super-Six is primed for an explosive start as the opening fixture pitches eternal rivals Enyimba and Enugu Rangers against each other.
During these two sides' meetings in the regular season, both the People’s Elephant and the Flying Antelopes won their respective home matches.
While coach Gbenga Ogunbote’s side managed a 1-0 victory in Enugu, Enyimba were more convincing as they romped to a 3-1 win in the reverse fixture in Aba.
Ifeanyi Anaemena was the hero in the last meeting between these two sides and he has predicted a tough clash on Tuesday at the Soccer Temple.
“It is going to be a tough game considering the pedigree of the two teams in the NPFL and an Oriental Derby is always a match where the two teams want to win for pride,” Anaemena told the media in the build-up to the Super Six kickoff.
Going into the encounter, coach Usman Abd’Allah’s men had the best defensive record in the regular season, letting in just 13 goals in 22 matches.
As for Rangers, they amassed the most match points (40) during the regular season, suggesting an evenly-poised match.
Ifeanyi Ubah vs. Lobi Stars
The Anambra Warriors surprised many, including perhaps themselves, by making it to the Super Six, and they will be hoping for the brightest start possible against the defending champions, Lobi Stars, on matchday one.
Ifeanyi Ubah scored the least goals (18) among the teams in the Super Six and would definitely have to do better in the final third if they are to enjoy a memorable outing in Lagos.
The Anambra Warriors and the Pride of Benue were in separate groups during the regular season so there are no recent meetings between the two sides.
Lobi Stars striker Sikiru Alimi in an interview with Goal harped on the importance of a good start and he has assured that his side will be gunning for a win against the Anambra Warriors.
"Our target is to win in Lagos, we have to give it our best shot from the first game to the last," he said.
Kano Pillars vs Akwa United
Kano Pillars have a score to settle with the Promise Keepers and a neutral ground like Lagos should avail them such an opportunity.
These two teams were in Group B in the regular season and it was Akwa United who had the upper hand, getting a 1-1 draw in Kano and thrashing Sai Masu Gida 3-0 in Uyo.
The Promise Keepers, who emerged tops in the NPFL Group B, scored the most goals in the regular season (32), with dangerman Mfon Udoh scoring 10.
Coach Rafael Everton hopes to win Akwa United's first NPFL title and he knows he has to hit the ground running from the first game against Pillars.