Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Predictor's Week 17 preview

With a 20 percent rate of away games won so far this season in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL), 10 centres play hosts to 10 games with the Sharks and Enugu Rangers clash to be screened live on SuperSport 9 this Thursday from 4pm Nigerian time.

But the big game on Matchday 17 is in Kano where Pillars will be out to win against Sunshine Stars in a bid to keep up the chase on southeast clubs, Enugu Rangers and Enyimba at the top of the standings.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Lobi Stars v Kaduna United (Emmanuel Atongo Stadium)
Last season Kaduna United lost 1 – 2 in this same game. Lobi Stars are favourites again to win this tie after dropping into the bottom four losing at ABS FC on Sunday. Expect the likes of Bassey Ezekiel, Moses Orkuma, Blessing Okardi, David Tyavkase, Lazarus Chukwu, Hilary Chukwu and Moses Bunde to play key roles in Lobi’s quest to win.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Ocean Boys v ABS FC (Samson Siasia Stadium)
ABS take their unbeaten streak to Ocean Boys. Last term Ocean Boys overran ABS three-nil with Emmanuel Enize getting a double and Chiamaka Madu among the goals. Kabir Sulaiman Dogo’s team will face a big test in Yenagoa but Ocean Boys are in a good form to win this.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

3SC v Kwara United (Lekan Salami Stadium)
The post-Festus Allen era begins this Wednesday with caretaker coaches, Hakeem Busari and Tunde Odubola taking charge in 3SC’s first game at their original home ground – the Lekan Salami Stadium. The Oluyole Warriors have struggled to score this term and this game will test the Ibadan club’s resolve to stay afloat but they stand a chance of edging this by just the odd goal as Kwara United have failed to pick a point at 3SC in last four visits.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Rising Stars v Dolphins (Oluyemi Kayode Stadium)
New boys, Rising Stars are on a run of five losses after defeats to Lobi Stars, Sunshine Stars, ABS, Kaduna United and Enyimba. The Stars face Dolphins in a first NPL clash with striker Kayode ‘Careca’ Agboola planning a shock welcome party for the champions in Ado-Ekiti. Sunday Erelesusi’s team will shake off their hoodoo of no wins in March to win despite Dolphins’ coming with their big stars.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Wikki Tourists v Enyimba (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium)
This is the 14th head-to-head meeting between the two teams with Enyimba having the advantage of winning five against the Tourists’ four. The last time Enyimba won at Wikki was in June 2007 when they earned a 2 – 1 victory. Last time both sides came up against each other in this fixture Wikki triumphed 1 – 0.

In spite of the injury concerns to Enyimba’s key men, they have enough to quality to leave Bauchi unscathed.
Our prediction: 0 – 0

Thursday, March 28, 2012
Kano Pillars v Sunshine Stars (Sani Abacha Stadium)
Baba Ganaru’s men lost 0 – 1 at Gombe United last Sunday and now face Sunshine Stars, who are out of sorts after crumbling 1 – 4 at Recreativo de Libolo in the Caf Confederation Cup. Pillars should close the gap on Rangers and Enyimba at the top of the standings.

Last season, it was in Kano that Sunshine Stars lost the title and this time, they come up against an in-form team filled with players who can score goals. Surely Pillars are primed for the points in this time.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Akwa United v Heartland (Uyo Township Stadium)
The Promise Keepers return to the Uyo Township Stadium after their spell at the UJ Esuene Stadium, where they maintained a 100 percent home run this term. Heartland have still not won a game on the road in the Premier League in three years but will be keen to repeat the feat of February 2009 when they beat Akwa United in Uyo by a goal.

But Heartland face a tough trip coupled with the possibility of fatigue setting in, as Solomon Ogbeide’s team have the odds in their favour to win this.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Sharks v Enugu Rangers (Sharks Stadium; live on SuperSport 9)
There’s no better time for leaders, Rangers to head south-south to face Sharks, who have won just once in their last five games and sit just one place and one point above the drop zone. In the last three years, Sharks have not beaten Rangers in Port Harcourt and that is a psychological boost for Okey Emordi’s men.

With the off-colour performances of the Blue Angels in recent matches, the Flying Antelopes look good enough to leave the Sharks Stadium with a share of the spoils.
Our prediction: 0 – 0

Warri Wolves v Gombe United (Warri City Stadium)
Maurice Cooreman’s men are still smarting from securing a draw on the road in the Caf Champions League against former Sierra Leonean champions, FC Kallon and will take same form into this tie against Gombe United, who have been blowing hot and cold lately after their superb start to this season.

Since 2004 Wolves have never dropped a point at home to Gombe United but it is likely they might miss the invaluable services of Uche Ossai, who is bereaved. Don’t expect a high-scoring game but Wolves will nick this one.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Jigawa Golden Stars v Niger Tornadoes (Hadejia Township Stadium)
There is a sneaky hunch about Tornadoes getting an away win. The visiting side have lost just once in five games and thanks to the industry of Daniel Essien Etor and the goal-scoring of Sibi Gwar as well as the vision of Shehu Abdullahi from the middle.

Though Jigawa Stars, who are bottom of the standings, are yet to lose at home, Tornadoes are capable of earning a win in Hadejia.
Our prediction: 1 – 2

*The Predictor on Matchday 16 did not get any actual score right but forecasted FIVE correct results from seven games.

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