January, 5 2023.
All eyes will be focused on Heartland FC of Owerri and their reinstated Head Coach, Christian Obi as the troubled Naze Millionaires take on Niger Tornadoes of Minna, in one of the two 2023/24 Nigeria Premier Football League, scheduled for Sunday January 7th 2024.
The encounter to be played at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, the adopted home of Niger Tornadoes, pits the Ikon Allah Boys against Heartland FC, who like the Minna outfit are also struggling at the wrong end of the table, despite having also effected a managerial change.
Despite steering his charges to a comfortable 3-1 thrashing of table toppers, Sunshine Stars of Ikenne on Day-16, Coach Kennedy Boboye was asked to step down from his role as Technical Adviser, by Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma; that's after just six matches in charge.
www.ckdmedia.ng gathered authoritatively that Governor Uzodinma also restored sacked Christian Obi as Head Coach, and former Junior International goalkeeper has since resumed work with the team, who are now 17th on the log, with 16 points and just one point away from safety.
Remarkably, Niger Tornadoes are also in the drop zone, and has 16 points, that's just one spot below Heartland FC in the table; and that makes this encounter a relegation six-pointer.
The winner is therefore guaranteed a big move up to 14th on the log, pending when the remainder of Day 17 matches are played on Wednesday, January 10th.
The other only fixture scheduled for Sunday is the encounter that pitted bottom of the log, Bayelsa United against another team going through a rough patch; 3SC of Ibadan, at the Lekan Salami Stadium, in Adamansimgba.
Until Friday, Bayelsa United had the league’s highest scorer, Robert Mizo in their ranks. But news filtering in from Yenagoa has it that Robert Mizo whose tally in 2023 stands at 19 goals, has ditched the Prosperity Boys, who are rooted to the foot of the table with just 14 points for Al Hilal Tripoli of Libya.
Meanwhile, 3SC are in the 13th spot with 19 points; but has been without a win in recent fixtures; something their gaffer, Gbenga Ogunbote says, has got to change in this New Year.
The encounter between Rangers International of Enugu and Bendel Insurance at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium will surely headline the remaining Day 17 fixtures to be decided on Wednesday, at designated venues, across the country.