NPFL: High-flying Lobi Stars looking to consolidate top spot
Nigeria Professional Football League leaders Lobi Stars appear primed to consolidate top spot when they face Nasarawa United in the North Central Derby on Sunday.
The table-toppers are currently on a three-game winning sequence, amassing 10 points from their last five games.
They come up against a struggling Nasarawa side who are only out of the relegation zone due to their superior goal difference, with Stars tipped to edge this one and extend their advantage at the top of the table.
Kano Pillars face a stern test to regain the top position when they host a resurgent Niger Tornadoes on Monday in Kano, although they would overhaul Lobi Stars with a win in the case of a defeat for the latter in Lafia.
Tornadoes have found their groove in recent weeks after a tough spell, topping the league's form table together with Lobi Stars.
Despite sitting in 10th, Tornadoes are only three points away from the dreaded relegation zone.
Can they show class against a formidable Pillars team who will be boosted by the return of Junior Lokosa?
At the bottom, Sunshine Stars and El-Kanemi Warriors can escape the drop zone with wins during matchday 13.
Warriors are presented with an opportunity to move out of the relegation zone when they welcome FC Ifeanyi Ubah to Maiduguri. The match serves as a return for ex-Warriors boss Ladan Bosso.
A first win in four games would put the Warriors' season right back on track, but would leave Ifeanyi Ubah winless in three successive games.
Katsina United could end as high as eighth with a home win against Heartland.
The Naze Millionaires were on the receiving end of a huge defeat at MFM FC, a result which sparked a bizarre reaction from coach Ramson Madu.
That could be a pointer of things to come for a Heartland team that have failed to win on the road since early February, and could come short against a side with a decent home record.
In other fixtures, managerless and relegation-threatened Sunshine Stars have a tricky job on their hands at home to Yobe Desert Stars.
The visitors aren't the most productive on the road, one point in five previous away games, but they're the surprise package of the season so far, and begin the weekend in fourth.
Finally, Abia Warriors will hope to climb the table in their mid-table tussle with Wikki Tourists, who are without a point on the road this term.