Tuesday, July 05, 2011

NPL preview for Week 31

Sunshine Stars and Dolphins look set to remain top two, as they face relegation-bound sides in mid-week games of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL).

But the game between 3SC and Warri Wolves is definitely the clash of Matchday 31 in this preview.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Kano Pillars v Lobi Stars (Sani Abacha Stadium)
In this corresponding game last season, Kano Pillars beat Lobi 2-0 but in the reverse game this season, Kano Pillars lost by a lone in Jalingo. Ladan Bosso's side start this mid-week game in third on the log and should remain on same position, as they go out to end Lobi's seven game unbeaten run.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Plateau United v Gombe United (Rwang Pam  Stadium)
MacMarcel Obioha (pictured right) helped Gombe United seal a 1 – 0 win over Plateau United in the reverse game this term. The last time both team met in Jos in March 2004, Plateau United won 1-0. Plateau United have 27 points from 30 and are 19th on the log. The hosts will be buoyed to win this game in a bid to give themselves a chance to stay afloat in the topflight.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Dolphins v Juth (Sharks Stadium)
The coast looks clear for Dolphins to complete the double on struggling Juth. But the away will be up for the fight, as they have got nothing to lose after going down 1-3 in the first game in this campaign. The Healers will remain bottom of the log after their trip to Port Harcourt to face Dolphins, who will knock the stuffing out of their opponents.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Bukola Babes v Kaduna United (Ilorin Township Stadium)
This is only the second topflight game between both sides. Kaduna United beat Bukola Babes 1 – 0 in the first game through a Samson Auta penalty. The Babes are still seeking for their first win in eight games since the club installed Kabir Sulaiman Dogo as caretaker coach following the exit of Festus Allen.
Our prediction: 1 – 1

3SC v Warri Wolves (Obafemi Awolowo Stadium)
In three games as hosts, 3SC have not dropped points since 2004 to Wolves including their 2-1 win in this same game last season. 3SC's biggest win over Wolves was in March 2004 when they won 3-0 while their opponents were known as NPA then. Paul Aigbogun will adopt his usual counter-attacking style for this game against 3SC side that will be spoiled for all points.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Zamfara United v Kwara United (Sardauna Memorial Stadium)
Nojeem Raji, Kabiru Sanusi and Barnabas Imenger got the goals for Kwara United in their 3-0 win in the reverse match this season. Zamfara are still a long way from survival and know that a win from this tie will push them closer out of the drop. Last season Zamfara won this game 1 – 0 and will fancy their chance this time.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Sunshine Stars v Crown FC (Gateway Int'l Stadium)
Crown FC makes a short trip from Ilaro to Ijebu-Ode to face the league leaders. Sunshine Stars lost back-to-back games for the first time this season, but are certain to continue their 100 per cent home record this season when Crown come calling. Both team played out a 1 – 1 draw in their first game in Ilaro this season, but Crown should be prepared for a tough afternoon in this southwest derby.
Our prediction: 3 – 0

Enugu Rangers v Sharks (Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium)
Rangers lost for the first time at home in two years, and will want to get back on a winning track against Sharks. The Blue Angels have just won their first game in their last four matches. In the first game between both sides, it ended 1 – 1. In past five visits to Enugu, Sharks have picked just a draw in November 2007 while last season's corresponding game ended 3 – 1 in favour of the home side.
Our prediction: 1 – 1

Enyimba v Niger Tornadoes (Enyimba Sports Complex)
This is the 16th topflight meeting between the two sides in the last eight years. Both sides have seven wins apiece from 15 games will one has ended in draw. It is going to be a tough game for Tornadoes considering that the holders are yet to concede a goal at home this season. Last season, Enyimba won this same game 3 – 1 and they look too good for all points again.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

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