Wednesday, February 01, 2012

NPL Week 6 preview

Ten games will go up in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) this Wednesday and Thursday. Gombe United look well positioned to continue with their unbeaten run and leadership of the standings.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Enugu Rangers v Kano Pillars (Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, live on SuperSport 9)
Last season, Kano Pillars completed the double on Rangers. In this same game last term, Pillars won by a goal scored by Musa Musa after having won by same scoreline in Kano in February 2011.

The Flying Antelopes go into this game with their players complaining about unpaid contract fees from last season but remain in the top five after four games while Pillars are in 13th position with an outstanding game.

Pillars have won just once in nine visits to Enugu since 2003 and face a tough battle against Rangers under Okey Emordi this time.
Our prediction: 1-0

Kwara United v Kaduna United (Ilorin Township Stadium)
Kwara United are no doubts favourites to pick all points in this game. In the last six meetings between both clubs in the top flight, Tunde Sanni's men have lost just once against Kaduna United and last season played out a 1-1 draw in this same match at Ilorin.

Kwara United struggled in the Ilorin derby owing to injuries to key players leading to coach Sanni improvising the like of attacking winger, Anthony Okemmiri.
Our prediction: 2-0

Heartland v Rising Stars (Dan Anyiam Stadium)
Cup holders, Heartland kick off this game in the bottom four against Rising Stars, in eighth place. NPL newcomers, Rising Stars are yet to lose a game this term and are in for a big test in Owerri in their first-ever clash with the Naze Millionaires.

Expect Heartland head coach, Lodewijk de Kruif to set up his side with a three-man attack against Sunday Erelesusi's men.
Our prediction: 2-0

Wikki Tourists v Lobi Stars (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium)
Ladan Bosso's men have the edge going into this game having won their first two home games Heartland and Kano Pillars. The Tourists are in line for a third win this season, as Lobi have not won at Bauchi in eight years.
Our prediction: 1-0

Enyimba v Ocean Boys (Enyimba Sports Stadium)
Ocean Boys have struggled in their last five visits to Aba including last season's 0-1 loss in this same fixture. But captain of Ocean Boys, Emmanuel Enize is bullish about his team's chance of breaking the hoodoo in Aba.

"I know we have never won in Aba in the league. This time we will surprise Enyimba," said Enize.

The Peoples Elephant still remain favourites to win all points in this game.
Our prediction: 2-0

Sunshine Stars v Niger Tornadoes (Dipo Dina Stadium)
Niger Tornadoes have scored just once at Sunshine Stars since 2003 and are yet to a game for same period of time. Last season, goals from Atanda Sakibu and Ibrahim Ajani ensured that Gbenga Ogunbote's men won this corresponding fixture in Ijebu-Ode.

It's difficult to rule out Sunshine Stars from winning this game, as Ogunbote has a full complement of his squad for this tie.
Our prediction: 3-0

Warri Wolves v Jigawa Golden Stars (Warri City Stadium)
Paul Aigbogun's men go into this tie as one of the four unbeaten sides so far this season. They play host to Jigawa Stars, who have picked just a win in four games.

Jude Aneke has settled in at Wolves seamlessly since joining in the off-season. Wolves faithful will hope the former Kaduna United man continues his scoring run that has seen him net twice this season.
Our prediction: 3-1

3SC v Dolphins (MKO Abiola Stadium)
Festus Allen's men are in for a huge test in the hands of champions, Dolphins. 3SC have not beaten the champions in seven years since their three-nil win in Ibadan in May 2005.

New Dolphins' man, Ifeanyi Egwim is expected to be named in the squad for the trip to face 3SC, who have failed to win in their last two games against Rising Stars and Gombe United. But 3SC have often raised their game against the big sides and this could be one of such.
Our prediction: 1-0

Gombe United v Sharks (Pantami Stadium)
League leaders, Gombe United have made the Pantami Stadium a comfortable home ground this season by winning their first two home games in convincing fashion. Bernard Ogbe's squad are the most in-form team so far.

For the Blue Angels, they go into this game with no wins at Gombe in more than six years. Gombe United will pick all points and stay top of the standings.
Our prediction: 2-1

Thursday, February 2, 2012
Akwa United v ABS FC (UJ Esuene Stadium)
This is the first top flight clash between the two clubs. On current form, The Promise Keepers have lost just once in four games this season while ABS FC earned their first point this season over the weekend in the Ilorin derby against Kwara United.

One man to watch in this game will be Ini Akpan, who has netted twice in the last three games. Erasmus Onuh's men face a big task in Calabar.
Our prediction: 1-0

*Week 5 games conjured up a string of strange results. This time 'The Predictor' got just THREE correct scores out of eight games including ONE exact result.

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