Nigeria Premier League Team of the Week


Five players broke into the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) Team of the Week for Matchday 14 for the first time this season.

The players are Ayeyemi James of Bukola Babes, Azubuike Egwuekwe of Warri Wolves, James Okwosah of Enugu Rangers, Andrew Michael of Ocean Boys and Ibrahim Babalola of Crown Football Club.

None of the players from last week's team got a look in the side for this week.

Pic: Sharks FC's Victor Ezeji

The duo of Ofem Inah of Sunshine Stars and Abubakar Yusuf of Bukola Babes are in the team as right-back and left-back respectively flanking the centre-back pair of Egwuekwe and Okwosah.

Emmanuel Omodiagbe of Warri Wolves, Ajani Ibrahim of Sunshine Stars and Bright Ejike of Sharks join Babalola in the midfield.

Victor Ezeji of Sharks has got the nod to pair Andrew up front in a 4-4-2 formation with Paul Aigbogun of Warri Wolves.

Why they made the team
Goalkeeper: Ayeyemi James (Bukola Babes)
He has made five appearances for the Babes and is yet to concede in 450 minutes of football including another clean sheet against Heartland last Saturday. But James is not even Bukola Babes' first choice.

Right-back: Ofem Inah (Sunshine Stars)
Inah was a handful for Lobi Stars on the right flank for his team. His mazy runs gave width to Sunshine Stars on the right in the absence of Daniel Mende on the left.

Centre-back: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves)
Egwuekwe came on for injured ThankGod Ike and combined well with captain Goodluck Onamado in Wolves' heart of defence to hold back Rangers' attack that has been potent while playing at home this season.

Centre-back: James Okwosah (Enugu Rangers)
The former Lobi Stars' man showed why he has been important in the back four of Alphonsus Dike's side by cutting counter-attacks by Warri Wolves last Sunday.

Left-back: Abubakar Yusuf (Bukola Babes)
The captain of Bukola Babes has been one of the mainstay his side has performed well since the New Year. Once again, Yusuf led by example and helped his team keep another clean sheet.

Central midfielder: Emmanuel Omodiagbe (Warri Wolves)
This midfield enforcer was combative and his defensive ability made sure that Rangers were narrowed down in the middle for every time they tried to be creative.

Central midfielder: Ibrahim Babalola (Crown FC)
He is the surprise name in the team this week. Babalola was the link between his side's defence and attack - a typical box-to-box performance. Little wonder Crown got a point off Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) on the road after five straight losses.

Right midfielder: Ajani Ibrahim (Sunshine Stars)
The midfielder scored twice in a sweeping performance by Sunshine Stars over Lobi Stars at the weekend. Ibrahim by virtue of his double strike is now tied as top scorer with Victor Ezeji of Sharks.

Left midfielder: Bright Ejike (Sharks)
The under20 star slots into left side of midfield for dazzling runs that created metres of space for Ezeji to wreck Niger Tornadoes at the weekend. Though Ejike paired Ezeji in attack, he showed his effectiveness by drifting wide to give Sharks width.

Striker: Victor Ezeji (Sharks)
Joint top scorer with five goals after his netted twice against Tornadoes. The former Club Africain striker's predatory instinct in front of goal has been massive for Sharks this term.

Striker: Andrew Michael (Ocean Boys)
The striker, who joined Ocean Boys from Bayelsa United in the off-season, enjoyed his best outing against leaders, Dolphins. Michael's pace off and on the ball left Dolphins' defence struggling almost through the game.

Coach: Paul Aigbogun (Warri Wolves)
The tactics of sit back and hit on the break employed by Aigbogun worked out well against Rangers. The style left Rangers frustrated as they lost their 100 per cent record at home following a goalless draw.

Team of the Week
Goalkeeper: Ayeyemi James (Bukola Babes)
Right-back: Ofem Inah (Sunshine Stars)
Centre-back: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves)
Centre-back: James Okwosah (Enugu Rangers)
Left-back: Abubakar Yusuf (Bukola Babes)
Central midfielder: Emmanuel Omodiagbe (Warri Wolves)
Central midfielder: Ibrahim Babalola (Crown FC)
Right midfielder: Ajani Ibrahim (Sunshine Stars)
Left midfielder: Bright Ejike (Sharks)
Striker: Victor Ezeji (Sharks)
Striker: Andrew Michael (Ocean Boys)

Coach: Paul Aigbogun (Warri Wolves)
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