Friday, July 22, 2011

NPL preview for Week 34

Three games have been called off. Enugu Rangers and Kwara United face each other in the Wafu Cup this Saturday while the tie between Niger Tornadoes and Sharks has been moved forward.

But seven centres will play host to games that could change the fortunes of title-seekers and relegation-battlers this weekend. Here are the previews for the games:

Saturday, July 23, 2011
Dolphins v Ocean Boys (Liberation Stadium)
This is one of the south-south derbies this season. Ocean Boys won this season’s first meeting 2 – 0 through first half goals from Benjamin Felix and Andrew Michael.

Michael now plays for the Blue Angels in Port Harcourt and Chigozie Christopher will be facing his old teammates with Ocean Boys. Last season in this corresponding game, Ocean Boys got a point off Dolphins.

But this time Stanley Eguma’s men will aim for a win as they fancy their chance of going top of the league, as the away team’s wait for a point on the road continue.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Gombe United v Kano Pillars (Pantami Stadium)
This will be the 14th meeting between both sides. In the previous 13 games, Pillars have won seven times including a one-nil triumph at Gombe in December 2008.

The former Nigerian champions enjoyed their biggest win over their northern rivals in 2004 when they won 7 – 1. Pillars won the reverse fixture this season by 2 – 1 through goals from John Yampe and Gambo Mohammed and sandwiched by Rauf Salaudeen’s effort. But the Desert Scorpions won this same game last season by 2 – 0.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Sunday, July 24, 2011
Juth v Zamfara United (Rwang Pam Stadium)
This is a relegation dogfight between the two sides. Zamfara United will fancy their chances of winning this game to save their topflight status while Juth want to continue to soldier on in a bid to save their skins.

United won the reverse game this season 1 – 0 in January but lost the corresponding match last season by 0 – 2. Emmanuel Deutsche’s men will be out to see if they can maintain a fine run in their last six games to avoid the drop, which looks too certain for them now.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Crown FC v 3SC (Ilorin Township Stadium)
Crown and 3SC go up in this tie, which is one of the four city derbies in the league this season. This is the second-ever topflight clash between the two. Crown are in the relegation zone while 3SC hover above the drop with just four points.

Both sides played out a 1 – 1 draw in the first meeting and this time. A draw looks on the cards.
Our prediction: 1 – 1

Heartland v Bukola Babes (Dan Anyiam Stadium)
Alhassan Saleh made sure the Babes claimed all points in the first-ever topflight game between the two sides. The Naze Millionaires’ ambition of a continental berth looks all but over but they will want to finish strongly and end up in the top half of the log.

Bukola Babes, on a three-game winning run, will be up for a torrid afternoon in Owerri this Sunday especially with the absence of their playmaker, Effiom Otu-Bassey.
Our prediction: 3 – 0

Kaduna United v Plateau United (Kaduna Township Stadium)
The Crocodiles, as Kaduna United are also called, secured a point off Plateau United in the first game this season. Maurice Cooreman’s men are still in the race for a continental ticket while Plateau need a result from this tie to give themselves a surviving chance of avoiding the drop.

Both sides have identical form guides from last five games with two wins apiece. But Kaduna United should take all points in this game, as Plateau’s road form has been poor.
Our prediction: 3 – 1

1 comment:

  1. Did Kwara beat the Ghana team in the WAFU cup or was it a walkover?