Friday, February 18, 2011

Nigeria preview for Week 17

Photo: Norbert Okolie

Saturday, February 19, 2011
Kwara United v Sharks
In their last three games, Kwara United are yet to win and it must be a source of concern for coach Kadiri Ikhana. And he will be keen to see his side return to winning ways against Sharks at the Gateway International Stadium in Sagamu. Sharks have won just once on the road all season and have picked just a point in four of this same game in the past. The Afonja Warriors will struggle but should get all points.
Prediction: 1 – 0

Dolphins v Bukola Babes
This is the star game of the week, as first placed side face third placed. Surprisingly in 720 minutes, newcomers, Bukola Babes, have not lost a game. Coincidentally, the last time the Babes lost it was by a lone goal to Sharks in Port Harcourt on December 18, 2010. For Bukola Babes this is going to be a massive test, as they visit the Garden City for the second time this season. The odds favour Dolphins but Bukola Babes will fancy their chance.
Prediction: 2 – 1

Crown FC v Enugu Rangers
The Flying Antelopes’ defensive approach has been responsible for their poor form on the road. Crown Football Club, on the other hand, won at Plateau United last weekend and will look to continue from that winning position. The Ajilete Valiant should coast to a win in this first meeting between both sides.
Prediction: 2 – 0

Sunday, February 20, 2011
Warri Wolves v Niger Tornadoes
Since their name was changed from NPA to Warri Wolves, Niger Tornadoes have never picked a point in Warri. Last season, this game ended 2 – 1 in favour of Wolves and Paul Aigbogun’s men look poised to inflict another defeat on Tornadoes this season.
Prediction: 3 – 1

Heartland v Plateau United
Plateau United are on a miserable streak of eight runs without a win and little wonder they handed their head coach, Ndubuisi Nduka, a suspension. Bitrus Bewarang takes charge of his first game and it starts with a difficult trip to Heartland. The last time both sides met in this same fixture was on February 29, 2004 and Heartland then known as Iwuanyanwu Nationale won by a lone goal.
Prediction: 1 – 0

Lobi Stars v 3SC
Last season in this corresponding fixture, Lobi Stars won by two-nil and it looks so possible that they will grab all points in this game. This is because Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) have turned themselves to a one-man team by depending solely on suspended Gbolahan Salami when the likes of Raheem Owolabi, Chima Akas, Olumide Adigun and Taofeek Adepoju have saved them the blushes in a few games this season.
Prediction: 1 – 0

Ocean Boys v Zamfara United
The form guide of 2006 champions, Ocean Boys, have improved in the last five round of matches and definitely they look good too go against Zamfara United. Chigozie Christopher will be the centre of focus when Zamfara United come calling following his mid-week performance against Jos University Teaching Hospital (Juth) Football Club.
Prediction: 2 – 0

Sunshine Stars v Kano Pillars
This is the biggest clash on Sunday. In eight head-to-head meeting between the two sides since 2003, Kano Pillars have edged Sunshine Stars with four wins to two. But based on their current home form Sunshine Stars are tipped to win this compared to Pillars that have won just once on the road (against Juth FC) this term.
Prediction: 2 – 1

Juth FC v Enyimba
Juth FC may have sacked their coaching staff, it will not deter the champions, Enyimba, from picking all points. The Healers may be the home side in this tie but they will find it tough to handle the Peoples Elephant, who are now in their elements to win matches irrespective of the name of the ground.
Prediction: 0 – 2

Kaduna United v Gombe United
Gombe United go into this match without a win in five games as well as a poor form in away games this season. It is difficult to see where Gombe United’s goal(s) will come from considering that they have not won or picked a point in Kaduna in over five years now.
Prediction: 2 – 0

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