The Nigerian football season officially starts today in Kano as Pillars face off against Federation Cup winners, Ifeanyi Ubah ,in the opening match of the Nigeria Professional Football League.
All eyes will be fixed on the Sani Abacha Stadium, as home side, Pillars attempt to win back the hearts of their fans after a largely indifferent campaign in the last two seasons.
After winning the top-flight title on three consecutive occasions, the Pyramid side, saw their stranglehold on the title loosened by Enyimba two years ago and Rangers last year.
For a team accustomed to being in the forefront, Pillars appear to be doing the things that will take them back to the pinnacle after conforming the signing of 18 new players for the new season.
The new players include five players from two-time CAF Champions League champions, Enyimba, Chinedu Udoji, Razak Aliyu, Sikiru Kamal, Emmanuel Anyanwu, Idris Aloma and Musa Najare.
The Kano side also signed a foreign-based player, Alassan Kamalou from FC Sahel of Niger Republic, all these adding fillip to the belief that they would give rhe likes of Rangers and Enyimba a good run for the title.
But the shape of things to come unfold today as they confront Charity Shield winners, Ifeanyi Ubah, with the latter intent on continuing their good start to the season, after claiming the scalp of Rangers during their confrontation midweek in Abuja.
Although they won through the lottery of penalties, Ifeanyi Ubah have a psychological edge heading into today’s duel against Pillars. Whether they are able to make it count on the Sani Abacha turf remains to be seen, all raising the stakes as the race to unseat Rangers as Nigerian champions stars.
Week 1 NPFL fixtures: