Saturday, May 21, 2011

NPL preview for Week 23

Irrespective of the results for matchday 23, Dolphins are guaranteed to remain on top of the log while at the other end the bottom four teams will remain bottom four even if they all win.

Sunday, May 22, 2011
Kano Pillars v Kwara United (Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano)
Pillars lost the reverse game by a stoppage time goal from Isiaka Olawale (pictured). But Ladan Bosso’s side appear to have hit a rich vein of form and should hand Kwara United their 10th loss of the season. It’s going to be a difficult trip for Kadiri Ikhana’s men having lost all six previous games in Kano since 2003 including last season’s three-nil spanking.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Bukola Babes v 3SC (Tafawa Balewa Sadium, Bauchi)
Festus Allen’s men suffered their first home loss of the season in the hands of former champions, Kano Pillars in the mid-week. It will be interesting to see how Bukola Babes recover from that defeat against 3SC. The Babes should edge this in spite of losing the first meeting by 2 – 0 this season to goals from Raheem Owolabi and Chima Akas.
Our prediction: 2 – 1
Dolphins v Sharks (Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt)
Nigeria’s Super Sunday starts off with the second leg of the big derby in Port Harcourt. Last time Sharks won 1 – 0 through Victor Ezeji’s goal but that game was tainted with allegation of match-fixing. It is hoped that this fiery derby will produce fireworks as it will be the eighth meeting between both sides in eight years. Dolphins have the edge with two wins in seven previous meetings while the Blue Angels have just a win with the others ending in draws. Last season this corresponding fixture ended one all.
Our prediction: 1 – 1

Crown FC v Kaduna United (Gateway International Stadium, Ilaro)
Crown look destined for the drop due to internal politicking at the club. They have suffered two straight losses and Kaduna United will fancy adding to their woes this weekend. Jude Aneke’s double in the first meeting secured all points for Kaduna United in a 2 – 1 win in November. Maurice Cooreman’s men will head to Ilaro in an attempt to inflict a sixth home loss on the Ajilete Valiant.
Our prediction: 1 – 2

Juth v Niger Tornadoes (Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos)
Another struggling side, Juth, take on a resurgent Niger Tornadoes at the Rwang Pam Stadium in Jos. It’s been a free fall for Juth this term having lost 12 games including four at home. Justin Tenger’s side will hope to take a result from Jos with them back to Minna, as they continue their climb into the top half of the log. Last time, both sides played goalless in November.
Our prediction: 0 – 0

Heartland v Warri Wolves (Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri; live on SuperSport 9)
This will be the 10th clash between the two sides since 2004. Both sides have won four games apiece with one ending in a draw. That draw was the reverse fixture in which Wolves clawed back from two goals down through Ehiosun Ekigho’s double in the space of five minutes. It will be a difficult trip for Paul Aigbogun’s team, as the Naze Millionaires have failed to win at home just twice this term in 11 games. Also, Heartland will have a full squad to face Aigbogun’s men. But Heartland will need to be watchful of Ekigho, who just cannot stop scoring.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Ocean Boys v Enugu Rangers (Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa)
The Flying Antelopes take their stuttering form on the road to former champions, Ocean Boys. Samson Unuanel takes charge of his first game after accepting to coach Ocean Boys in the wake of Larry Eceli’s sack. And Unuanel will want to win this to banish the demons of the heavy defeat in the first meeting between both sides when Rangers went rampant with a 5 – 2 win in Enugu. Rangers have never won or picked a point at Ocean Boys and that record will continue.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Sunshine Stars v Plateau United (Gateway International Stadium, Ijebu-Ode)
Bitrus Bewarang and his Plateau United boys could face a backlash from Sunshine Stars in Ijebu-Ode after the Akure club suffered their heaviest defeat in the hands of Enyimba mid-week. Gbenga Ogunbote’s men will be fired up for this one, as they aim to complete the double over Plateau United after winning the first meeting via Ukeyima Akombo’s stoppage time goal in Jos in November. Ibrahim Ajani will also aim to increase his 10-goal tally to stave off the chasing pack of Kabiru Sanusi and Ehiosun Ekigho for the top scorer’s position.
Our prediction: 3 – 1

Zamfara United v Enyimba (Sardauna Memorial Stadium, Gusau)
For Zamfara United, it is nine games without a win since January 30 when they beat Juth by a lone goal. They face an in-form Enyimba with a three-game unbeaten run. With Josiah Maduabuchi, Victor Barnabas, Ifeanyi Ede, Uche Kalu, Chidozie Johnson and Samuel Tswanya in their best form, Zamfara United are up for a tough Sunday afternoon in Gusau. The Peoples Elephant will aim for the double on Zamfara United after winning the first game this season by Maduabuchi’s goal in Aba.
Our prediction: 0 – 1

Lobi Stars v Gombe United (Jolly Nyame Stadium, Jalingo)
In seven past visits to Lobi Stars, the Desert Scorpions have won once in 2003 by 3 – 1. But this term Gombe United have struggled on the road having picked just a point from 33. It will be difficult looking beyond Lobi Stars, as they have notched up 10 wins in 11 home games this term.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

No comments:

Post a Comment