Thursday, April 08, 2010


Gateway FC v Bayelsa Utd
The Rock City Boys in five game has won just once and that was a 4 – 0 bashing of Ranch Bees on coach Toyin Ayinla’s first game in charge since taking the job of head coach at Gateway Football Club. The champion, Bayelsa United, has not faired better having won twice in its last five games. Last season, Bayelsa United lost 0 – 2 in this fixture, and its form on the road this term has been terrible having lost 10 in 13 away games. On the other hand, Gateway FC’s only home loss was at the hands of Shooting Stars, and Ayinla would be hoping to see his side put spanners in the wheels of the titleholder. It is difficult to call, but the Rock City Boys should just nick this one.
Prediction: 2 – 1
Nov 29, 2009: Bayelsa Utd 2 – 1 Gateway FC
May 9, 2009: Gateway FC 2 – 0 Bayelsa Utd
Dec 21, 2008: Bayelsa Utd 1 – 0 Gateway FC

Kano Pillars v Tornadoes
Once again, there will be no Ahmad Musa and Solomon Okpako for Kano Pillars, as they would be away with the Super Eagles Team B for the ongoing WAFU Cup in Abeokuta. But Pillars has shown that it can cope well without its top scorer, Musa, this season like it did against Gombe United. Tornadoes would also miss Eugene Salami, who is also on duty with the home-based Eagles. Earlier in the season, Kano Pillars got a point off Tornadoes, who has had an inconsistent run this season though it has remained within touching distance of the top clubs on the league log. Pillars has lost just once – to Heartland in Owerri – in its last five games compared to Tornadoes’ two wins, one draw and two losses. There is no way Tornadoes will escape defeat in Kano considering Pillars’ fine home run and with the likes of Gambo Mohammed, Victor Namo and Moses Ogaga waiting to fill in for the absent Musa.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Nov 28, 2009: Tornadoes 1 – 1 Kano Pillars
Feb 28, 2009: Kano Pillars 0 – 0 Tornadoes
Oct 18, 2008: Tornadoes 1 – 0 Kano Pillars
April 12, 2008: Tornadoes 1 – 1 Kano Pillars
Dec 8, 2007: Kano Pillars 2 – 0 Tornadoes
March 25, 2007: Kano Pillars 3 – 1 Tornadoes
Jan 27, 2007: Tornadoes 1 – 0 Kano Pillars
Nov 13, 2005: Tornadoes 1 – 0 Kano Pillars
June 3, 2005: Kano Pillars 2 – 0 Tornadoes

Dolphin v Ranch Bees
In the reverse fixture of this game, Dolphin lost by 0 – 2 in Kaduna, and Stanley Eguma would rally his men for this one since the club is just two points above the drop zone. Just as Dolphin will be without left-back Mutiu Adegoke, the club has the likes of Joseph Obinna and Victor Ezuruike, who are back in the side. The last time, Ranch Bees visited Port Harcourt it lost by 1 – 2, and Bees has had a terrible away record this season. In 13 games, it has lost 11 games. Eguma’s men must also watch out for March Player of the Month, Stephen Saviour, who lifted Bees singlehandled last month. But Dolphin will have itself to blame if it fails to pick all three points in this game.
Prediction: 1 – 0
Nov 28, 2009: Ranch Bees 2 – 0 Dolphin
June 6, 2006: Ranchers Bees 2 – 0 Dolphin
June 16, 2006: Dolphin 2 – 1 Ranchers Bees

Wikki v Heartland
The Nigeria Premier League (NPL) has stated that Heartland will have to honour its away game against Wikki Tourist on Saturday after its rescheduled Week 27 game against Enyimba was shifted. Since 2005, there have been nine meetings between the two sides in the top-flight including a shock goalless draw in the reverse fixture in Owerri. However, the bad news for the Naze Millionaires is that it has not won in its last four visits to Wikki and that may not change with key players away on duty with the Super Eagles Team B at the ongoing WAFU Cup in Abeokuta. Last season, Heartland lost this same fixture by a lone goal and another defeat stares the Owerri-based club in the face at the Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi.
Prediction: 1 – 0
Nov 29, 2009: Heartland 0 – 0 Wikki
Feb 25, 2009: Heartland 1 – 0 Wikki
Jan 17, 2009: Wikki 1 – 0 Heartland
Feb 6, 2008: Wikki 1 – 0 Heartland
Oct 17, 2007: Heartland 1 – 0 Wikki
May 1, 2007: Wikki 2 – 1 Heartland
Feb 4, 2007: Heartland 0 – 0 Wikki
Oct 22, 2005: Wikki 1 – 0 Nationale
May 17, 2005: Nationale 2 – 0 Wikki

Ocean Boys v 3SC
This is a clash between 20th and 15th placed teams on the Premier League log. Ocean Boys has the most terrible record in the form guide of last five games in the top-flight reading four losses and a draw. The 2006 champion last picked a point in the Premier League on March 10 against Wikki Tourist (at home), which was almost a month ago. First meeting between the two sides this season ended goalless at the Liberty Stadium, Ibadan. The only time both sides met in this same fixture was on May 5, 2006 in an abridged version of the league, which Ocean Boys won by one-nil before going on to win the title. Both clubs need points in this relegation dogfight and Emmanuel Amuneke would savour facing his former Super Eagles’ team-mate, Mutiu Adepoju, and putting one past him.
Prediction: 0 – 0
Nov 28, 2009: 3SC 0 – 0 Ocean Boys
July 15, 2006: 3SC 1 – 0 Ocean Boys
May 5, 2006: Ocean Boys 1 – 0 3SC

Enyimba v Gombe Utd
In the reverse game at the Abubakar Umar Memorial Stadium, Gombe, the Peoples Elephant left with a point. Five-time champion, Enyimba, should take advantage of Gombe United’s in-fighting to remain in contention for a sixth title. The two-time African champion has been boasted with its top scorer, Osas Idehen, after he was surprisingly dropped from the squad to the WAFU Cup. Gombe United has only picked a point off Enyimba in its last four visits to Aba and that was on June 9, 2007. But Okey Emordi’s men look set to continue their push for a title this season.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Nov 28, 2009: Gombe Utd 1 – 1 Enyimba
March 8, 2009: Enyimba 2 – 0 Gombe Utd
Oct 26, 2008: Gombe Utd 2 – 1 Enyimba
May 25, 2008: Enyimba 4 – 0 Gombe Utd
Jan 6, 2008: Gombe Utd 1 – 0 Enyimba
June 9, 2007: Enyimba 1 – 1 Gombe Utd
March 7, 2007: Gombe Utd 1 – 0 Enyimba
Jan 14, 2007: Enyimba 2 – 0 Gombe Utd
July 1, 2006: Gombe Utd 1 – 0 Enyimba
April 25, 2006: Enyimba 2 – 1 Gombe Utd

Sunshine Stars v Sharks
This is definitely going to be a difficult trip for the Blue Angels. Having climb out of the relegation zone for the first time this season, the Port Harcourt club is keen on getting result in this tie in Akure to ensure that it continues its climb to stay in the top-flight at the end of the season. But Sunshine Stars would be aiming for the double having won the reverse fixture by a lone goal last November. But Sunshine Stars could drop points since it has failed to score in 11 games this season, and John Obuh’s men could exploit that to earn themselves an important point.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Nov 28, 2009: Sharks 0 – 1 Sunshine Stars
Feb 14, 2009: Sharks 2 – 1 Sunshine Stars
Sept 24, 2008: Sunshine Stars 2 – 1 Sharks
April 5, 2008: Sunshine Stars 3 – 0 Sharks
Dec 1, 2007: Sharks 0 – 0 Sunshine Stars

Kaduna Utd v Zamfara Utd
The home side has the better form guide in its last five games with three wins and two losses compared to Zamfara United’s stuttering run of two wins, a draw and two losses. Both sides played out a 1 – 1 draw in Gusau this season, but Kaduna United would remember that it won this corresponding fixture by 3 – 1. There would be key battles on the pitch at the Kaduna Township Stadium and one of such would be between Zamfara United’s Austin Kadiri and Kaduna United defender, Efe Ambrose. But we would not be seeing the scoreline of 9 – 0 like last season, as Kaduna United is tipped to pick all points in this northern derby.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Nov 29, 2009: Zamfara Utd 1 – 1 Kaduna Utd
June 14, 2009: Zamfara Utd 9 – 0 Kaduna Utd
Jan 11, 2009: Kaduna Utd 3 – 1 Zamfara Utd

Lobi Stars v Kwara Utd
The biggest undoing of Lobi Stars this season has been failing to score goals when it mattered most. Overall, the Suswan Boys has failed to score in 15 matches – meaning the side has scored in 12 games. Evans Ogenyi should have looked up the log and realised that apart from Enyimba, his team’s opponent is the other side that has won three games on the road. Kwara United has not won in its last two visits to the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi including last season’s 2 – 3 loss on February 17, 2008. The game will also be a homecoming of some sort for Kwara United’s head coach, Justin Tenger, who hails from Benue State and he would want to score a point by leaving Makurdi with a result. Another game with a difficult call but Lobi Stars should grab the points.
Prediction: 1 – 0
Nov 28, 2009: Kwara Utd 2 – 0 Lobi Stars
Feb 17, 2008: Lobi Stars 3 – 2 Kwara Utd
Oct 20, 2007: Kwara Utd 1 – 1 Lobi Stars
Aug 6, 2005: Lobi Stars 1 – 1 Kwara Utd
Feb 26, 2005: Kwara Utd 2 – 1 Lobi Stars

Warri Wolves v Rangers
Coach Lawrence Akpokona would be facing his former club, Enugu Rangers, for the second time this season after a 1 – 1 draw in the first clash. Akpokona knows that a win for his side would see it return into the top four and displace the Flying Antelopes from that elite class in the league log. Alphonsus Dike should be worried with Wolves’ impressive home scoring record of two goals per game compared to his side’s away scoring form of 0.38 per game. Wolves has a handful of players like Tochukwu Mbachu, Michael Okoyoh and Ehiosun Ekigho who can wreck Rangers. Akpokona should win this one against his former team.
Prediction: 2 – 1
Nov 29, 2009: Rangers 1 – 1 Warri Wolves
May 24, 2009: Rangers 3 – 0 Warri Wolves
Nov 30, 2008: Warri Wolves 2 – 0 Rangers
Aug 26, 2005: NPA 0 – 1 Enugu Rangers
March 23, 2005: Rangers 1 – 0 NPA

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