Friday, April 23, 2010


Tornadoes v Dolphin
Top scorer of Niger Tornadoes, Eugene Salami, should be back in time for this tie against Dolphin at the Bako Kontagora Stadium, Minna. Tornadoes has not lost at home since the start of this term and that poses a big task before Dolphin. The away side should also have a decent squad to take to Minna with the return of Mutiu Adegoke except for Abduljelil Ajagun would miss the chance to face his brother, Abdulrasheed Ajagun. Stanley Eguma would be fancying that his side pulls a shock result at Tornadoes regarded as one of the difficult venues in the league. Earlier this season, Dolphin won the first meeting by 2 – 1, but it would be a tough trip for Eguma’s men on Saturday in Minna considering its stuttering poor away form.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Dec 5, 2009: Dolphin 2 – 1 Tornadoes
Sept 17, 2005: Dolphin 2 – 1 Tornadoes
April 12, 2005: Tornadoes 1 – 0 Dolphin

Gombe Utd v Wikki
In two years, Wikki Tourist has not scored at Gombe United and this season it has failed to score in 11 games just like its host. The last time Wikki scored at Gombe was December 15, 2007 when it lost by 1 – 2. Just as it is hazy on who would score for Wikki, it is also difficult to know how it would tame the likes of Haruna Babalo and Bala Manu, who have pulled the strings for Gombe United all season. Though the Tourist won the first clash of this season by two-nil, it would return to Bauchi without a point, as I tip the Desert Scorpions to go all the way for this.
Prediction: 1 – 0
Dec 5, 2009: Wikki 2 – 0 Gombe Utd
June 14, 2009: Wikki 1 – 0 Gombe Utd
Jan 11, 2009: Gombe Utd 2 – 0 Wikki
April 20, 2008: Gombe Utd 2 – 0 Wikki
Dec 15, 2007: Wikki 2 – 1 Gombe Utd
June 7, 2007: Wikki 0 – 1 Gombe Utd
July 22, 2005: Wikki 2 – 1 Gombe Utd
Feb 13, 2005: Gombe Utd 2 – 1 Wikki

Sharks v Kaduna Utd
In five meetings between the two sides since 2006, Kaduna United has won twice while the Blue Angels has won the remaining three including last season’s corresponding fixture which ended by a lone goal in Port Harcourt. The Sharks Stadium is known as a tough place to pick away points in spite of its misfortune this season. But in 28 games, Sharks has failed to score in 17 games, which underscores why it is battling for survival in the top-flight. In the first meeting, Sharks failed to score when it lost 0 – 1 but John Obuh, who should be back in the saddle after his trip to South Africa with the Flying Eagles, would count on the duo of Victor Ezeji and Bright Ejike to make the difference.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Dec 6, 2009: Kaduna Utd 1 – 0 Sharks
Feb 21, 2009: Sharks 1 – 0 Kaduna Utd
Oct 12, 2008: Kaduna Utd 0 – 1 Sharks
June 17, 2006: Kaduna Utd 2 – 0 Sharks
June 6, 2006: Sharks 2 – 1 Kaduna Utd

Kwara Utd v Ocean Boys
In the reverse game, Kwara United took a point off Ocean Boys on December 5, 2009. Emmanuel Amuneke’s men would have to contend with a quality side with players such as Sibi Gwar, Jaiyeola Yusuf, Isiaka Olawale and Moroof Yusuf among others. The 2006 champion, Ocean Boys, has failed to score 18 matches this season. The last time, Ocean Boys visited Ilorin was in 2007 and it lost by 1 – 2. Ocean Boys would still be holed in the relegation after this game, irrespective of the outcome of this tie.
Prediction: 2 – 1
Dec 5, 2009: Ocean Boys 1 – 1 Kwara Utd
March 5, 2008: Ocean Boys 2 – 0 Kwara Utd
Oct 27, 2007: Kwara Utd 2 – 1 Ocean Boys
March 11, 2007: Ocean Boys 2 – 1 Kwara Utd
Jan 17, 2007: Kwara Utd 1 – 1 Ocean Boys
Sept 9, 2006: Ocean Boys 0 – 0 Kwara Utd

Bayelsa Utd v Kano Pillars
This is our pick of the week from the 10 games. The biggest headache for interim coach of the Nigerian champion is how to curtail Kano Pillars from scoring, as it has failed to score only once in 28 games. Bayelsa United, on the other hand, with so much trouble off the pitch has failed to score in 15 games. Aside the stats, this is a big test for Kano Pillars’ title credential. But Ahmad Musa and Solomon Okpako are back in the side for this game in Yenagoa. First clash of the season ended in 1 – 1, and last season’s corresponding fixture ended two-nil in favour of the host at the Oghara Township Stadium. In its last three visits to Bayelsa United, Pillars is yet to score but that might change this time. But this game remains a difficult call considering the contrasting form of both clubs. But watch out for Kano Pillars’ other striking sensation, Gambo Muhammad.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Dec 5, 2009: Kano Pillars 1 – 1 Bayelsa Utd
Feb 25, 2009: Bayelsa Utd 2 – 0 Kano Pillars
Jan 17, 2009: Kano Pillars 1 – 1 Bayelsa Utd
May 18, 2008: Bayelsa Utd 2 – 0 Kano Pillars
Jan 16, 2008: Kano Pillars 0 – 0 Bayelsa Utd
July 21, 2006: Kano Pillars 1 – 0 Bayelsa Utd
May 13, 2006: Bayelsa Utd 4 – 0 Kano Pillars

Enugu Rangers v Shooting Stars
The game between Bayelsa United and Kano Pillars just edged his match between old foes of the top-flight division. The last time both sides faced each other in Enugu was in 2005 when the Flying Antelopes won by two-nil. Shooting Stars sorely missed the work rate of Uche Nwofor in its 0 – 3 loss at Ocean Boys two weeks ago and would have him back on Sunday against Enugu Rangers. Rangers got a huge draw at Warri Wolves without pacy winger, Ejike Uzoenyi, and Alphonsus Dike would be urging his side to go for the kill. The first meeting between both sides, which ended goalless, is irrelevant in this tie, as the Flying Antelopes looks set to climb into the top four after this weekend’s fixtures depending on the outcome of games involving Kwara United and Sunshine Stars.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Dec 5, 2009: Shooting Stars 0 – 0 Enugu Rangers
Aug 20, 2005: Enugu Rangers 2 – 0 Shooting Stars
March 12, 2005: Shooting Stars 1 – 0 Enugu Rangers

Zamfara Utd v Lobi Stars
Both clubs have met each other since 2005 except in 2006 when the league adopted an abridged format. Somehow, Lobi Stars has been able to shackle Zamfara United at the Sardauna Memorial Stadium in Gusau. In four visits to Gusau, Lobi Stars has won once, drawn two and lost once (on May 15, 2007 by a lone goal). Lobi Stars is two points above the drop zone and a point behind Zamfara United. The Makurdi club has the chance of overtaking United and climbing further away from relegation, and that is if it continues with its form guide of two wins, two draws and a loss. But I see a draw written over this game just like the first meeting that ended one apiece.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Dec 6, 2009: Lobi Stars 1 – 1 Zamfara Utd
April 5, 2009: Lobi Stars 1 – 0 Zamfara Utd
Nov 23, 2008: Zamfara Utd 0 – 0 Lobi Stars
Feb 3, 2008: Zamfara Utd 0 – 1 Lobi Stars
Oct 7, 2007: Lobi Stars 3 – 0 Zamfara Utd
May 15, 2007: Zamfara Utd 1 – 0 Lobi Stars
Feb 7, 2007: Lobi Stars 1 – 0 Zamfara Utd
Sept 9, 2005: Zamfara Utd 2 – 2 Lobi Stars
April 2, 2005: Lobi Stars 3 – 0 Zamfara Utd

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