NPFL 24: Best XI of the first round (Part 2)

The Nigeria Premier Football League has seen a lot of breakout stars this season, and some veterans are still dishing out performances week after week.

Here is part 2 of the team of the NPFL season at the halfway mark.

You can read part one of the selection here.

Jide Fatokun – Midfielder (Remo Stars)

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Photo by Icon Sport

The former Sunshine Stars midfielder's move to Remo Stars has been a masterstroke, as he has shone brightly this season. Remo's midfield, stacked with the likes of Dayo Ojo and Qudus Akanni, sees Fatokun holding his own and delivering outstanding performances for the Ikenne-based side.

Difficult to dispossess, his work rate, passing, and recovery are among the reasons Remo has consistently stayed within the top three for the majority of the season. It's a tough choice for the defensive midfield position between him and Enyimba’s Daniel Daga, but who says both can’t be in the same team?

Kazeem Ogunleye – Midfielder (Rangers)

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Photo by Rangers

Plucked from Plateau United by Fidelis Ilechukwu when he moved southwards to Enugu this season, Ogunleye has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Flying Antelopes.

Five goals and four assists after 16 matches speak volumes about his contribution to the Rangers team, aiming for their first league diadem since 2016.

Blessed with a terrific left foot and mesmerising skills, he is also adept at set pieces. Ogunleye will be the creative outlet in the midfield of this compact team for the half-season.

Daniel Daga – Midfielder (Enyimba)

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Photo by Enyimba

Enyimba made a coup by signing the youngster from NNL side FC One Rocket as they aimed to retain their title, and the youngster has not disappointed. Part of the U20 side that was part of the Nigeria team at the last FIFA U20 World Cup, he has been one of Enyimba’s stalwarts in the midfield as they raced to the third position on the league table.

Assured in the tackle and with a good work rate in midfield, Daga has shown he is one of the best young talents in the NPFL. He will be a constant in Enyimba’s attempt to hold on to the title they won last year with his efficiency and industry in their midfield.

Robert Mizo – Forward (Bayelsa United)

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Robert Mizo – Photo by Bayelsa United

Though Bayelsa United is in the bottom three of the log and hasn’t been impressive this season, Mizo is probably the only shining light from Yenagoa. Now at Libyan side Al Ahli Benghazi following his recent move, he has continued with his goal-scoring feat from last season despite his side’s struggles in the NPFL.

Mizo was a constant thorn in the flesh of defenders in the league who found it hard to cope with his positional sense and physicality as he notched up 10 goals before he left Yenagoa for Benghazi.

Albert Hilary – Forward (Plateau United)

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Photo by David King/Plateau United

The former U20 forward has come into his own this season with some fantastic goals and all-round play for Jos-based club side Plateau United.

Burly and blessed with pace, he has been able to fight for a starter's shirt at the club and has thumped in 9 league goals already, including a hat trick he scored against Bayelsa United on match day 14.

Hilary has been consistent since then and is always one of the first names on coach Mbwas Mangut’s team list.

Sikiru Alimi – Forward (Remo Stars)

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Photo by Remo Stars

Alimi’s second journey to Remo has yielded fruit, bringing a lot of enterprise and experience to the Remo Stars' attack. Most importantly, he has produced the goals in front of goal.

After 19 games and the NPFL season at the halfway mark, Alimi has the most goal involvement in the league – 15 (11 goals and 4 assists) in 17 NPFL games.

The former Stade Tunisien striker is well on his way to winning the top scorer's accolade in the NPFL if he continues his streak in the first half of the season.

NPFL Coach | Eugene Agabe (Lobi Stars)

It's only fitting that Eugene Agabe, the coach of Lobi Stars, leads the team of the half-season after transforming Lobi into NPFL title contenders.

Agabe was a surprising pick to coach the Benue side, taking over from Bala Abubakar, who had led the team in pre-season and the ‘Naija Super 8' tournament before abruptly quitting the side.

His appointment caught many by surprise, but Agabe has not been fazed at all, quickly getting down to business and steering his team to the top of the log after 19 matches.

Holding a CAF B coaching license, Agabe previously led the Lobi Stars U15 side to the NPFL/La Liga tournament in Ikenne before earning promotion to the senior team.

A firm advocate of the 4-3-3 formation, Agabe has utilized it effectively, with his wingers playing a crucial role in delivering success for his team. This approach has seen them score 22 goals in 19 matches.

As the leader of Lobi Stars, Agabe's impact on the team's performance has been significant, making him a worthy choice as the coach of the half-season.

NPFL 24: Best XI of the first round (Part 2)
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a seasoned Africa sports journalist, and a former Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 national team. He is widely acknowledged as an authority on the NPFL and African football, Randa is esteemed for his expertise in football content creation. Furthermore, he holds the distinction of being Nigeria's foremost sports kit designer and a trailblazer in the realm of sports graphics in Nigeria.