Posted by Muyiwa Akintunde | 15 November 2015 | 4,037 times
The curtain falls today on the 2014/15 Glo Premier League as the season that commenced last March 8 produces Nigeria’s second CAF Champions League representatives for next season, as well as the final team to be relegated. Also to be decided on this final day is the third place, reserved for CAF Confederation Cup campaigners.
Enyimba, the most successful Nigerian club, were last week crowned Premier League champions for the seventh time, on the same day Kwara United and FC Taraba joined Bayelsa United on the trip back to the lower division. Kwara United only got promoted last season.
For the other CAF Champions League ticket, which goes to the second placed team, two sides are realistically in contention. Warri Wolves and Giwa FC are tied on same 63 points, but the former, whose Chairman Amaju Pinnick, is the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), seemingly have two advantages – they play at home as against Giwa FC who travel to neighbouring Nasarawa, plus a 24-goal lead over the Jos-based team. While the Seasiders also entertain already relegated FC Taraba, Giwa FC are up against fifth placed Nasarawa FC, who are still in the hunt for continental ticket.
Sunshine Stars, in No 4, and sixth placed Wikki Tourists also have a chance to finish third and claim the CAF Confederation Cup spot. They all however face tough oppositions. Sunshine Stars host champions Enyimba, while Wikki Tourists welcome dethroned champions Kano Pillars to Bauchi. All three sides – including Nasarawa United – have each collected 60 points.
Akwa United, Dolphins, Sharks, Enugu Rangers and Lobi Stars are the candidates for the final relegation ticket. Akwa United, who are in the final of the Federation Cup, are however the most vulnerable. They must first beat their guests, Lobi Stars, by at least a four-goal margin and then hope that the trio of Enugu Rangers, Sharks and Dolphins lose their respective matches. Even as the Flying Antelopes have been poor this season in front of their home fans at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, where they had lost three matches, Akwa United should not count on a final day horror by Rangers.
If Akwa United win by a goal margin of less than four, and Rangers also beat Bayelsa United, the candidates for the drop will be either of the two Port Harcourt sides – Dolphins and Sharks.
2014/15 Glo Premier League Final Day (Week 38) Matches: Heartland v El-Kanemi Warriors, Shooting Stars v Dolphins, Nasarawa United v Giwa FC, Kwara United v FC IfeanyiUbah, Abia Warriors v Sharks, Warri Wolves v FC Taraba, Sunshine Stars v Enyimba, Enugu Rangers v Bayelsa United, Akwa United v Lobi Stars, Wikki Tourists v Kano Pillars (all 4pm)
•Muyiwa Akintunde is a Lagos-based Journalist, PR practitioner and Sports Analyst. Photo shows Glo Premier League action.
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