By Albert Akota
With just four matches to the end of the Nigeria National League (NNL), Wikki Tourists FC of Bauchi and Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan look most likely to have put themselves back in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) for next season’s campaign.
Although both face tough challenges from rivals this weekend, the two old customers in the elite division have shown enough quality and seriousness to return to the premier league on the strength of their pole positions on the log.
They will return to the pitch to hunt for more points this Saturday for the rescheduled Week 27 matches just as Kwara United hosts Plateau United in a winner takes all encounter.
Wikki Tourists lead NNL Division A table with 47 points, clear four points more than their three rivals-Kwara United, Plateau United and Ranch Bees FC of Kaduna with 43 point each.
In Division B, Shooting Stars are on top with 44 points while second placed Mountain of Fire and Miracle (MFM) of Lagos has 42 points just as Gabros International FC of Nnewi has 41 points to keep up the pressure.
Fifth placed First Bank FC will welcome high-riding MFM in local derby at the Agege Stadium even as Gabros will ambush for Gateway United in Nnewi.
Elsewhere, Mighty Jets, Niger Tornadoes and Kogi United have mathematical chances of finishing amongst the top two in Division A while Bendel Insurance will make it if the three frontrunners fumble along the way.
Meanwhile, the board and management of NNL have reiterated the commitment to ensure that all matches are monitored closely to avoid acts capable of denting the image of the league.
Chairman, of the league board, High Chief Emeka Inyama hinted that Independent Assessors have been engaged to monitor the remaining matches in addition to ensuring that no nonsense referees are deployed to handle big games especially those involving the table toppers.
According to Inyama,” the remaining matches are very important to us especially those games involving top teams chasing promotion to the elite division. We must provide level playing field to all the clubs no matter what it will cost to do so.’’