With 19 games left this season in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), the battle against relegation is as tight as ever. It’s hard to believe that 13th-placed Wikki Tourists should be looking over their shoulders, but they sit just five points above the bottom four.

While the Giant Elephants may have 24 points, a poor run of form could easily see them slip down the table. They’re one of seven sides who could realistically be in relegation trouble as the season comes to a close.

But what does each side do well and what can they improve on? We take a look.

Wikki Tourists
Position: 13th
Points: 24
Goals For: 16
Goals Against: 15
Goal Difference: +1

Need to carry on doing this to survive:

Tourists are outpassing the opposition. If they can’t have the ball, they can’t score.

Need to work on this to stay up:

Despite being 13th, they haven’t scored much with a paltry 16 goals so far. They need to start becoming ruthless in front of goal.

Jigawa Golden Stars
Position: 14th
Points: 23
Goals For: 14
Goals Against: 29
Goal Difference: -6

Need to carry on doing this to survive:

The Giant Killers are creating more than enough chances per game to survive. They need to carry on pushing forward and use their goal threat.

Need to work on this to stay up:

Start picking away points and don’t bulge at home.

MFM FC
Position: 15th
Points: 21
Goals For: 13
Goals Against: 18
Goal Difference: -3

Need to carry on doing this to survive:

Keep Akanni Elijah fit. The Olukoya Boys are a different team when he’s playing. He has been involved in 50% of their goals this term.

Need to work on this to stay up:

MFM FC don’t kill off games. That puts them at a disadvantage to begin with, and they need to sort that out.

Sunshine Stars
Position: 16th
Points: 19
Goals For: 13
Goals Against: 19
Goal Difference: -6

Need to carry on doing this to survive:

Away from home, Stars have created chances. They are undoubtedly making opportunities, which they need to carry on doing.

Need to work on this to stay up:

Sunshine Stars are far too weak in the midfield. They need to sort out that area.

Warri Wolves
Position: 17th
Points: 19
Goals For: 14
Goals Against: 22
Goal Difference: -8

Need to carry on doing this to survive:

You can’t deny that Wolves are creating chances. If they keep on making quality goalscoring opportunities, the likelihood is that the ball will find its way into the back of the net. A team can win with a solitary goal after being outplayed all game, but if a side keeps on creating chances, they will surely end up scoring.

Need to work on this to stay up:

Finishing those chances is key. If they had taken of the great opportunities they’d created they probably wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place.

Katsina United
Position: 18th
Points: 19
Goals For: 14
Goals Against: 27
Goal Difference: -13

Need to carry on doing this to survive:

Katsina United were short of quality in the first stanza and they have done well to improve their squad.

Need to work on this to stay up:

They’re not creating chances and they’re letting in plenty against them. It’s not ideal. No-one has had fewer shots per game.

FC Ifeanyi Ubah
Position: 19th
Points: 16
Goals For: 13
Goals Against: 19
Goal Difference: -6

Need to carry on doing this to survive:

They have the best defence in the bottom half, having only conceded 19 goals this season. More often than not, the team that concedes the most goals is relegated, so the defensive qualities Uche Okagbue has built will be crucial in ensuring the Anambra Warriors are a Nigeria Professional Football League side next season.

Need to work on this to stay up:

As the team struggle in front of goal, with just 13 goals, exploiting set pieces could be a way forward.

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