We have the most knotty scenario in the relegation zone where mathematically the 7th placed Club, Warri Wolves cannot afford to play sloppily even at 52 points with six goals surplus. The surprising picture is that while they could be overtaken by any of the teams in 8th to 14th position, they could also be caught up on same points by the teams on 15th-19th place. It is only Shooting Stars on 46 points in the 20th position that has their place in the lower division confirmed. The teams to watch their match outcome on the last day are Nembe City, Nasarawa United, Lobi Stars, Kwara United, Akwa United and ABS. Below we bring you a match-by-match analysis of these teams.
Nembe City versus Sunshine Stars
Nembe City and Sunshine Stars is an interesting battle as the Baribote boys must win and win very well to have any hopes of staying up here next season. At 49 points and with the worst goals deficit of minus 18, nothing short of record books result can see them off the troubled relegation fall. They must win with as many as twelve goals and then hope that three others including their opponents, Sunshine Stars in 9th place will all lose. It is a very uphill task for one of the two privately funded teams.
Dolphins versus Wikki Tourists
A win for Dolphins will see them off the drop hook and condemn their opponents, Wikki Tourists to the Nigeria National League (NNL). Wikki are on 49 points with goals difference of minus two and playing away hasn’t been particularly favourable to them. Even a draw in this game will only push them only to 50 points and with Kwara United, Nasarawa United, Lobi Stars and Nembe City playing at home, Wikki cannot hope for any help except they dug deep and stun Dolphins in Port Harcourt. Such a result will see Dolphins returning to the lower wrung where they began as Eagle Cement. Odds are against Wikki Tourists.
Nasarawa versus Heartland
Heartland can be said to be technically troubled but it is difficult to see them drop off the Glo Premier League thanks to a healthy dose of surplus goals. A win for Nasarawa United will see them catch up with Heartland on 52 points but the Naze Millionaires will still stay above them on superior goals difference except Victor Namo elects to raise his goals tally to above 24 from the present 17. At minus six goals, Nasarawa United will require to beat Heartland 7-0 to overtake them. It is still very dicey for Nasarawa United but a win is desirable first and foremost.
Warri Wolves versus ABS
Another game of special interest as the Abubakar Bukola Saraki boys have from the start of the season battled every week to stay away from where they still have to now depend on other results to know their fate. On 13th position with 50 points, they travel to Wolves that are seemingly comfortable on 7th position with 52 points and positive goals difference of eight and really not threatened.
ABS needs huge favours from Wolves to hope to cross to the safe zone of 53 points or else will have to work some permutations to see where they will be placed when all the results are pulled in.
Kwara United versus Akwa United
Akwa United made a late rally to escape the relegation terrain but despite the 1-0 away win to Warri Wolves in Week 37, they can’t afford any luxury of taking their eyes off the table. In 12th place with 50 points, Akwa United are also in need of three points to reach the 53 points safe mark and playing against another desperate side, they may just cancel each other out with a draw.
The Afonja Warriors in 15th place with 49 points must win and look to other results to stay safe.
Kaduna United versus Shooting Stars
The Ibadan Warlords are the only relegation confirmed team for this season going into the last game, yet a surprise win in Kaduna may likely see them off the bottom but not off the drop. Kaduna United at some point looked comfortable but today, they are vulnerable and any slip such as a draw portends relegation for the Sabo Babayero boys. They cannot afford not to win especially against a team that cannot be said to be playing for any point.