Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Predictor's Week 16 preview

The Nigeria Premier League (NPL) enters Matchday 16 with the prospect of one of Enugu Rangers, Enyimba and Kano Pillars ending up as leaders.

At the other end of the standings, it is going to be a seven-team battle among Sharks, Kaduna United, Lobi Stars, 3SC, ABS FC, Rising Stars and Jigawa Stars as seven matches take place across six centres.

Saturday, March 24, 2012
Niger Tornadoes v Sharks (Bako Kontagora Stadium)
The Blue Angels go into this game with a point above the drop zone and a loss looks on the card considering how they have struggled on the road. It is even worse for John Obuh’s team as they have never taken a point in their last seven visits to Tornadoes since 2003.

Daniel Essien Etor is tipped to score in this game for the hosts as Sharks will continue with their struggles on the road.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Sunday, March 25, 2012
Kwara United v Jigawa Golden Stars (Ilorin Township Stadium)
In the last two visits to Ilorin in 2003 and 2007, Jigawa Stars lost 0 – 1 and 0 – 2 respectively. Kwara United return back to their home ground and will be keen to end six games on the bounce without a win.

Tunde Sanni’s men are favourites to win this match though Bala Mohammed and co are expected to be a handful for their back line.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

ABS FC v Lobi Stars (Ilorin Township Stadium; live on SuperSport 9)
Lobi Stars were one of the teams that ABS did the double on last season. Kabir Sulaiman Dogo’s side have been in impressive form lately and have gone unbeaten in five games. Lobi Stars will definitely find it tough in Ilorin on Sunday afternoon in spite of parading the like of Blessing Okardi, Lazarus Chukwu, Hilary Chukwu, Bassey Ezekiel and Moses Orkuma, who are expected to make the trip to Ilorin.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Enugu Rangers v Akwa United (Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium)
In 2009 when both sides met in this same fixture, Akwa United left Enugu with a point after securing a 1 – 1 draw. The Flying Antelopes have dropped to second place behind Kano Pillars and have lost their last two games. The Promise Keepers will come up against a team keen to restore themselves to winning ways following defeats at Sunshine Stars and Gombe United. Expect Ejike Uzoenyi, Chikeluba Ofoedu, Emeka Eze, Efe Yarhere and Oghogho Oduokpe to make impact in this game and earn the hosts the points.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Enyimba v Rising Stars (Enyimba Sports Stadium)
Josiah Maduabuchi, Uche Kalu, Nzube Anazemba, Henry Uche and Samuel Tswanya among others are definitely the men that coach Austin Eguavoen will throw into the fray against newcomers, Rising Stars in their first-ever NPL game in Aba. It is difficult to look beyond six-time champions, Enyimba as Rising Stars will suffer a fifth defeat on the bounce.
Our prediction: 3 – 1

Kaduna United v 3SC (Kaduna Township Stadium)
Though 3SC may have suffered a 0-3 defeat in mid-week at Kano Pillars but Festus Allen’s men are expected to put up a fight against Kaduna United. 3SC are now fourth from bottom and another loss will add more pressure on Allen and his team.

The Oluyole Warriors have struggled to score goals this term but they look capable of pulling off a point in Kaduna.
Our prediction: 0 – 0

Gombe United v Kano Pillars (Pantami Stadium)
Kano Pillars will head to Gombe with the plan to avoid defeat, which they are capable of achieving in spite having won just once in seven visits since March 2003. Baba Ganaru has a lot of options to choose from as he has a squad of midfielders and attackers getting on the score sheet at will.

Gombe United, on the hand, have found the past four games tough with leading scorers, Mustapha Babadidi and Sanusi Sani struggling to score. This game will end in a draw as Pillars will extend their unbeaten streak to six.
Our prediction: 1 – 1

*Eight matches took place in the rescheduled Week 3 and The Predictor notched up SEVEN correct scores including THREE actual results.

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