OPINION: ‘The Naija Classico’ is here again

In every football league in the world there is always that game that the fans anticipate with keen interest every season.

Followers of the Premier League always look forward to a game between Liverpool FC and Manchester United, Manchester United against Arsenal, as well as Chelsea versus Manchester United.

In the Spanish league there is the El Classico between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, in Italy there is the Derby D’Italia between Juventus and AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan as well, in Germany and France there are the Die klassica between Bayern Munich and Borrusia Dortmund and Les Clasique between Paris Saint Germain and Olympic Marseille respectively.

To this rule, the Nigeria Professional Football League is not an exception. There are very big games in the NPFL but one of them stands out. The game between Enyimba FC and Kano Pillars FC, a game I call ‘The Naija Classico.’

The Two NPFL powerhouses will be clashing this Sunday at the Enyimba Stadium in one of the NPFL 2020/2021 week 5 matches.

Kano Pillars will be going into the game against Enyimba high on confidence hoping they can leave with something valuable, considering that they have been unbeaten this season (two wins and two draws).

Enyimba will be hoping to bounce back from the disappointing 0-2 loss away to Heartland FC in Owerri and seek to claim a sixth straight home victory against the Kano based outfit.


July 2019 (NPFL Championship playoffs)
Kano Pillars 2-0 Enyimba.

February 2018, Kano Pillars 1-1 Enyimba

July 2017, Enyimba 1-0 Kano Pillars

March 2017, Kano Pillars 3-1 Enyimba

July 2016, Enyimba 2-1 Kano Pillars

May 2016, Kano Pillars 1-2 Enyimba

August 2015, Enyimba 1-0 Kano Pillars

April 2015, Kano Pillars 1-0 Enyimba

November 2014, Enyimba 3-1 Kano Pillars

June 2014, Kano Pillars 1-0 Enyimba.


Since the turn of the century, only once has a league fixture between Enyimba FC and Kano Pillars produced an away win, ( may 2016, Kano Pillars 1-2 Enyimba).
Kano Pillars have been pointless in their last five visits to Enyimba.
Enyimba have never conceded first at home in a game against Kano Pillars.
Enyimba’s 3-0 win in 2003 (by default the game was 1-0 when Pillars abandoned the game) 2005 and 2013 are the biggest wins ever recorded in a fixture between both teams.
Kano Pillars have only been able to pick two points from Enyimba in away games since the turn of the century (2-2 draws in 2008 & 2012).

Some notable players who have played for both sides in this fixture in the recent past include, Bala Mohammed, Bala Zaka, the late Chinedu Udoji, Emmanuel Anyanwu, Theophilus Affelokhai, Nzube Anaezemba, Gabriel Reuben, Eneji Otekpa, etc.

Players to watch From Enyimba include Nelson Ogbonnaya, Anthony Omaka, Cyril Olisema and Samad Kadiri.
The key men for Kano Pillars are Rabiu Ali, Anwalu Ali, Nyima Nwagua and Abdullahi Musa.

If the above facts are things to go by, then one can find reasons to say that Enyimba is on the verge of picking the maximum points in this fixture on Sunday.

Comments (2)

  1. I want to add my voice to the earlier comment here.. Stream your home games at least…..biko.

  2. Stream your home games

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