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AITEO Cup: Quarterfinal berths on offer

Following an intriguing league season, Nigerian football fans are being treated to an exciting Aiteo Cup competition too. GuySuffo/BackpagePix

The Round of 16 matches of the 2017 men's Aiteo Cup take place on in eight cities across Nigeria on Wednesday.

KweséESPN takes a closer look at the fixtures, which will be decided by replays in the event of any draws.

Akwa United vs. Shooting Stars

Akwa United are home to Shooting Stars in a match which promises to produce plenty of goal-mouth action.

The Promise Keepers, coached by Abdul Maikaba, have played some eye-catching football this season and were unfortunate to have lost out on continental qualification via the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

After comprehensively defeating Yobe Desert Stars in the previous round, they will be up against a Shooting Stars team who won away at Delta Warriors, thanks to Shile Ibrahim's winner.

FC Ifeanyi Ubah vs. Heartland

The much-talked about derby between defending champions FC Ifeanyi Ubah and Heartland takes place in Nnewi.

Last year's winners earned a spot in the last 16 following a comfortable win over their feeder team, while Heartland secured a second successive penalty shootout victory after playing out a 1-1 draw with FRSC.

The key man for Heartland going into this encounter is goalkeeper Ebele Obi, a player who displayed match-winning heroics in the matches against FRSC and Bendel Insurance, saving two penalties in both shootout victories.

Unicem Rovers vs. ABS FC

Unicem Rovers was responsible for one of the upsets of the previous round when they beat Enugu Rangers on penalties.

They are home to ABS FC in a match the that could improve the spirits of the recently-relegated Ilorin-based club following a disappointing NPFL season.

Exciting youngster Adeshina Gata was the hero for ABS in their nine-goal thriller against Adamawa Feeders, netting a hat-trick.

In a tie between two seemingly evenly-matched teams, a replay might just settle this one.

Ngwa FC vs. Sunshine Stars

Giant-killers Ngwa FC have a date to keep with Sunshine Stars at the Abakaliki Stadium. The non-league side defeated Lobi Stars at home on penalties in the last round and could fancy another top flight scalp in this tie.

Sunshine Stars had two-goal hero Sikiru Alimi to thank for a convincing win against Nasarawa United, and the forward could once again prove to be the decisive factor in this clash.

Osun United vs. El Kanemi Feeders

A match featuring two previously unheralded teams, who have a perfect opportunity to make the competition's quarterfinals.

Osun United had goalkeeper Abayomi Ojo to thank for his heroics in the penalty shootout win against Kwara United, and he - alongside Tosin Omoyele and Hakeem Olalere - could be the difference between victory and defeat against El Kanemi Feeders.

Ekiti United vs. Katsina United Feeders

Ekiti United and Katsina United Feeders have a perfect opportunity to create further history on Wednesday.

Ekiti United head into this tie buzzing, following a morale-boosting win over top flight side Abia Warriors in the last round. They are up against a Katsina United Feeders team who might be regarded as overachievers considering their modest pedigree, therefore Ekiti United are favoured to come out on top in this one.

Plateau United vs. Akwa Starlet

Plateau United must cut short their league title celebrations as their quest for a domestic double continues.

They are up against Akwa Starlet, a team that defeated Doma United 4-2 in the Round of 32.

Plateau United will be without the services of first-choice goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye, as well as Emma James and Peter Eneji, who are on international assignment with Nigeria at the WAFU Cup of Nations.

Despite their unavailability, their experience and superior coaching expertise of Kennedy Boboye should see the team progress against a non-league side.

FC Abuja vs. Niger Tornadoes

FC Abuja are up against top-flight team Niger Tornadoes, who earned a narrow 1-0 victory against amateur side FC Atete in the last round.

FC Abuja, a team renowned for producing exciting youngsters who have gone on to play professionally abroad, could provide some stiff resistance for Tornadoes and an upset shouldn't be regarded as surprising.