Friday, July 01, 2011

NPL preview for Week 30

As the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) enters home stretch, the positions of the top two teams will remain same between Dolphins and Sunshine Stars.

At the bottom no matter the outcome of their Matchday 30 games, Zamfara United, Crown FC, Plateau United and Juth will stay bottom four. Here are previews for this weekend games:

Saturday, July 2, 2011
Kwara United v Sunshine Stars (Ilorin Township Stadium)
Sunshine Stars edged Kwara United in the reverse game of the season by a lone goal on January 9. Both teams have players gunning for the top scorer’s award in Ibrahim Ajani (Sunshine Stars) and Kabiru Sanusi (Kwara United). But Sunshine Stars need to return to winning ways after capitulating by 0 – 3 at Gombe United in a rescheduled game mid-week though they remain top of the league table. In this same game last season in November 2009, Kwara United won two-nil and it will be difficult to look beyond them.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Sharks v Plateau United (Sharks Stadium)
The Blue Angels begin their game against Plateau United this weekend in eighth place after a four-game winless streak. Sharks can finish in fifth or sixth place at the end of Matchday 30 provided they win this game. Imama Amapakabo will no doubt urge his men to complete a double over relegation-battling Plateau United after they won the first meeting at Jos through Victor Ezeji’s goal on February 9 this year.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Sunday, July 3, 2011
Gombe United v Enyimba (Pantami Stadium)
This will be the 19th topflight clash between Gombe United and holders, Enyimba since 2003. Enyimba have won nine of those meetings against Gombe’s five while the other four have ended in draws. In eight trips to Gombe, the champions have been able to muster three draws including last season’s 1 – 1 draw. But the Peoples Elephant suffered their biggest defeat at Gombe United in November 2005 when they lost three-nil. Okey Emordi’s men will be wary of the fact that the Desert Scorpions will be smarting from beating leaders, Sunshine Stars in a mid-week game by 3 – 0 with Adamu Mohammed leading Gombe’s resurgence at home.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Niger Tornadoes v 3SC (Bako Kontagora Stadium)
In spite of having won the first meeting by 2 – 1 in Abeokuta earlier in the season, 3SC on paper do not look like a side that will pick points off Tornadoes in Minna. Fatai Amoo’s men are distracted by a lack of fund and in their last home game dropped points against Gombe United. With the likes of Daniel Etor, Sibi Gwar and Soga Sambo in form for Tornadoes, it looks like a mountain to climb for the Oluyole Warriors, as they have not picked a point in Minna since their 1 – 1 draw in May 2005. 3SC might end up hovering just above the drop zone after Week 30 games considering their poor form of just two draws on the road from 14 games.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Crown FC v Ocean Boys (Gateway Int’l Stadium)
Big question is: ‘Can Ocean Boys finally pick a point on the road this season?’ After 1,260 minutes of football on the road, Ocean Boys remain the worse away team in the NPL with no point. Coincidentally, Crown FC are the worse side at home in terms of home losses. They have lost six times. So it will be a clash of the worse sides from two ends. Ocean Boys won the first game 2 – 0 with Under23 midfielder, Ayo Saka, scoring the second from the centre of the pitch. But this might just prove a different game for both sides.
Our prediction: 1 – 1

Heartland v Dolphins (Dan Anyiam Stadium)
In mid-week Heartland beat struggling Juth 4 – 2 in a thrilling game but the frailties in the Owerri side still exist as they play host to title-chasing Dolphins. Right-back Uche Oguchi scored the only goal in the reverse fixture to secure the points for Dolphins. But the 2004 champions face a full strength Heartland this time having in mind that all four previous trips to Owerri in the past eight years have ended in defeats including their 0 – 1 loss in this same game last season. Coaches Christian Chukwu and Loudewijk de Kruif will be relieved to see their men take all points against Dolphins.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Enugu Rangers v Kano Pillars (Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium)
Rangers are one of the highest scoring sides at home with 28 goals. Sunshine Stars hold that record of scoring 34 times at home this season. Pillars go to Enugu in search of their first point after eight previous visits have ended in defeats in the past eight years including last season’s 0 – 1 loss. It was Gambo Mohammed’s first half goal from the spot that earned Pillars a one-goal win in Kano, but they face a tough game in Enugu and could slip out of the top three this weekend.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Warri Wolves v Bukola Babes (Warri City Stadium)
It is seven games without a win for Bukola Babes, as they head to Warri to face Wolves. Caretaker coach, Kabir Sulaiman Dogo is yet to guide the side to a win after he took charge from Festus Allen, who was suspended and later resigned to join lower league side, COD United. Though the Babes won the first game this season, Dogo will have to wait for another day to earn his first full points with the newcomers, as Wolves have dropped just two points at home all season – to Heartland in a 2 – 2 draw.
Our prediction: 3 – 0

Kaduna United v Zamfara United (Kaduna Township Stadium)
Maurice Cooreman’s men secured a lone goal victory over Zamfara United on the road in a game played in Kano. In the last two games, Zamfara United have been the in-form side with a win and a loss compared to two losses by Kaduna United in their last two games. No doubt, Kaduna United have the chance of completing the double over Zamfara United but the away team will be buoyed by their feat of securing a goalless draw in this same game last season in April 2010.
Our prediction: 1 – 1

Juth v Lobi Stars (Rwang Pam Stadium)
It is not looking any brighter for Juth with 22 points from 29 games. Lobi will head to Jos with the intention of stretching their unbeaten streak to eight this season. Dominic Iorfa’s side could become the sixth side to win in Jos this season, as confidence has hit a low in the camp of ‘The Healers’ after suffering their 17th loss of the season at Heartland on Wednesday. Juth have won just five times at home, and that poor run will only encourage Lobi to go for the points.
Our prediction: 1 – 2

No comments:

Post a Comment