Friday, July 08, 2011

NPL preview for Week 32

All ten games will be on the card this weekend for Matchday 32. Sunshine Stars, Dolphins and Kano Pillars go on away trips, as the title race continues.

Here are the preview for this weekend's games:

Saturday, July 9, 2011
Kwara United v Bukola Babes (Ilorin Township Stadium; live on SS9)
This is one of the four city derbies in the topflight this season. The first meeting between both sides ended three-nil in favour of Bukola Babes. This will be the second-ever NPL game between the two Ilorin-based clubs. The Babes just ended a seven-game winless streak and will aim for a result in this game though Kadiri Ikhana’s men look favourites to edge this one if they decide to go for the kill.
Our prediction: 1 – 1

Sharks v Kano Pillars (Sharks Stadium)
In the reverse fixture, Pillars had to bank on a stoppage time goal from Victor Namo to cancel out Victor Ezeji’s 12th minute goal in Kano. In their last five trips to Port Harcourt, Kano Pillars have been able to muster a win and a draw. In March 2008, Pillars stunned the Blue Angels 2 – 1 and drew 2 – 2 in 2005 while they have lost thrice including last season’s corresponding fixture when the hosts won by two-nil in December 2009. Coach Imama Amapakabo will fancy his side to win over his former team.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Sunday, July 10, 2011
Gombe United v Enugu Rangers (Pantami Stadium)
The last time the Flying Antelopes won this fixture was in June 2007. Last season, they held on for a point in this same game, and in the reverse game this term Super Sand Eagles player, Musa Najire got the lone goal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu that secured all three points. Rangers go into this game in eighth position and have won just twice in their last five games while Gombe start in 14th place this weekend. They have also won just twice in their last five games. Rangers undoing could be their lack of firepower upfront.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Niger Tornadoes v Plateau United (Bako Kontagora Stadium)
Plateau United face a difficult trip to Minna this Sunday when they face Tornadoes. The last time both sides met in this same game in June 2004 Tornadoes won by a lone goal. The first game between both sides ended 2 – 2 this season in January this year. Plateau United need a result on the road to give them a chance of staying afloat in the topflight this season. George Akpabio has been the lifeline of Plateau's attempt to escape the drop but it is how they will deal with Sibi Gwar, Daniel Etor and Shehu Sabole that matters in this game.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Juth v Ocean Boys (Rwang Pam Stadium)
Champions in 2006, Ocean Boys have played more 1,350 minutes on the road and are still in search of their first point in away games this season. In the first meeting in Yenagoa, Ocean Boys ran out 4 – 1 victors but two of the players – Michael Andrew and Chigozie Christopher (pictured) – that masterminded that rout have moved elsewhere. But Madu Chiamaka has proven to be a capable replacement though it will be tough getting a point at Juth, as Ocean Boys have not won in their last five league games.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Crown FC v Zamfara United (Ilorin Township Stadium; live on SS9)
This is a relegation dogfight between the two sides. Zamfara United in 17th position on the log face Crown FC in 18th. This is the second time both sides will meet in the Premier League, as Zamfara United edged the first through Austin Kadiri’s spot kick. Crown FC have relocated to Ilorin for the remaining part of the season and will hope their new temporary home ground will bring them good fortune in escaping the drop starting with this game against Zamfara on Sunday.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Lobi Stars v Dolphins (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium)
Title-chasing Dolphins in the last eight years are yet to pick a point at Lobi Stars including last season’s 1 – 2 loss in this same game on Valentine’s Day of 2010. The Dolphins contingent will make a long trip to Bauchi without one of their centre-backs, Festus Austine – now on duty with the Under23s. And they will have their ears fixed on the outcome of Sunshine Stars’ game in Owerri. It is going to be a tough game for Dolphins, which have been the best away side so far in this campaign. But Lobi Stars have surrendered just four points at home from 45 and are yet to lose at home this term.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Heartland v Sunshine Stars (Dan Anyiam Stadium)
League games between both sides in the past two seasons have always ended up as brawls, and this one might not be an exception since the two teams find themselves at different ends of the table. Though Heartland have had a topsy-turvy display this season, the Owerri-based side are yet to lose at home and will fight tooth and nail to keep that record sacred. In the reverse game in Ijebu-Ode, Sunshine Stars won 2 – 1 and will bank on the creative spark of Cameroonian midfielder, Medrano Tamen to help Ibrahim Ajani, Ukeyima Akombo and Atanda Sakibu upfront with supplies.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Warri Wolves v Enyimba (Warri City Stadium)
This is certainly the game of Matchday 32. Wolves are the only side this season to have got a point off Enyimba in Aba this season. This game presents Wolves a chance to close the gap at the top on Sunshine Stars, Dolphins and Kano Pillars. This term the champions, Enyimba have done poorly on the road by taking just five points from a total of 42. But the Peoples Elephant are known for grinding out results in tough games like they did last season in this corresponding fixture when they won 1 – 0. But under Paul Aigbogun, Warri Wolves have shown themselves to be a difficult side to other title-aspiring sides this season.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Kaduna United v 3SC (Kaduna Township Stadium)
Gbolahan Salami should return for this game after missing 3SC’s last two games due to malaria. Fatai Amoo’s men start this weekend with four points adrift relegation at Kaduna, where they have failed to win in their last two visits in 2010 and 2006. 3SC also failed to beat United in the reverse fixture when Fidelis Saviour cancelled Salami’s goal to share the spoils in Abeokuta in January. It is difficult to look beyond Kaduna United for all points in this game based on their home form to 3SC’s winless run in their last five games.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

No comments:

Post a Comment