By Monica Iheakam
Newly promoted Heartland FC of Owerri, will make her come back to the elite league with a home tie against Sunshine Stars of Akure, this is even as champions Plateau United begin their title defense against Nasarawa United in Lafia on January 14.
According to the draw for the 2017/2018 league season conducted by the Nigeria Professional League Management Company (LMC) on Sunday, MFM FC, who were runners up last season, will start their campaign against Abia Warriors at the Umuahia Township Stadium.
The draw held in Kano at the Bristol Palace Hotel yesterday, pitched seven -time champions, Enyimba in a battle with Lobi Stars of Makurdi.
Akwa United and Enugu Rangers will also slug it out at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo in another big encounter of match day one.
In other Week one fixtures, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi welcomes another newly promoted side Go Round FC of Omoku; with Kastina United to clash with Kano Pillars .
Other matches will see Kwara United face Niger Tornadoes in ilorin, FC Ifeanyi Ubah locks horn with Yobe Desert Stars who are making a debut.
According to the breakdown of the calendar earlier released by LMC, there will be three midweek matches on match days 2, 4 and 5 while the mid- season break will be from April 30- May 5 and a longer break for the FIFA World Cup from June 14-July 15.
Resumption from the World Cup break will be on July 18 with match day 25 which will be the first of another three midweek matches in the second stanza.
The other two midweek fixtures will be on match day 27 and 29.
The 2017/2018 NPFL season is expected to end on September 20, 2018.