Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Predictor’s Week 22 preview

The dogfight continues in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) as the season enters Matchday 22. Rising Stars have an Herculean task in their hands. They play at the most intimidating venue - Kano - in the top flight.

The star game between Heartland and Sunshine Stars is off as the latter leave for Mali to face Djoliba AC in the Round of 16 of the Caf Champions League this weekend.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Wikki Tourists v Enugu Rangers (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium)
This is the 19th clash between both sides since 2003 and Rangers have won 10 against Wikki's five in the last 18 head-to-head top flight games. Rasaq Adegbite's goal was enough to hand Rangers all the points in the first meeting this season.

The last time Wikki dropped all points in this same fixture was in March 2007 when Rangers won 2-1. But Rangers have gone two games without a win and Wikki have dropped just two points at home all season. A difficult trip awaits Rangers in Bauchi.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Enyimba v Kwara United (Enyimba Sports Stadium)
The odds are heavily stacked against Kwara United to leave Aba with a point considering their recent floundering form. Two back-to-back losses on the road to Jigawa Stars and Lobi Stars leaves Tunde Sanni's men with no chance of taking points off Enyimba, who lost at Rising Stars last weekend.

A win for Enyimba could take them to first or second place depending on the outcome of the games involving Kano Pillars, Enugu Rangers and Dolphins.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Akwa United v Lobi Stars (Uyo Township Stadium)
Lobi Stars have lost their last three trips to Uyo including a 1-4 bashing in February 2009. But Akwa United are the in-form team with no loss in their last five games and on paper will take the points.

It's going to be a tight game as Lobi Stars have lost just once in their last five games but the Promise Keepers will win by the odd goal.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Ocean Boys v Niger Tornadoes (Samson Siasia Stadium)
Three first half hat-trick from Azuka Ebinum in Minna in the first meeting this season meant Ocean Boys lost 0-3. In six visits to Yenagoa, Tornadoes have avoided defeat four times and lost two.

Both teams are yet to win in their last five games and that's why this is a dogfight with the two clubs in the bottom four. A share of the spoils is in the offing in this game.
Our prediction: 1 – 1

Kaduna United v Dolphins (Kaduna Township Stadium)
Champions, Dolphins won the first meeting three-nil through Emem Eduok's brace and Chidi Osuchukwu's strike. But Eduok is a doubt for this tie as he is abroad on trials. Dolphins have not won in their last two games and have struggled in their last two trips to Kaduna where they have lost including a 1-2 defeat.

United will win this match in spite of their struggles this term.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

ABS FC v Warri Wolves (Ilorin Township Stadium)
ABS won this same game last term 1-0 and in the reverse game this season, it was Jude Aneke's late goal that secured the points for Wolves.

Maurice Cooreman's Wolves have drawn five times on the road and lost five. ABS have a home record of nine wins, six draws and one loss and it looks enough to upset the south-south club for the points.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Jigawa Golden Stars v Sharks (Hadejia Township Stadium)
If Sharks are going to avoid defeat in Hadejia then in-form winger, Gomo Onduku could provide that edge up front. In the reverse match this term, Jigawa Stars suffered a 0-4 loss in Port Harcourt.

The Blue Angels are capable of winning in Hadejia as they are on a run of four wins on the bounce and will be spurred on by their three-nil triumph at Jigawa Stars in August 2003.
Our prediction: 1 – 2

Kano Pillars v Rising Stars (Sani Abacha Stadium)
Rising Stars are definitely up for a reaction against league leaders, Kano Pillars after Gombe United prevented them from winning last Saturday at home in a game that ended 0-0.

Kano Pillars' head coach, Baba Ganaru is confident that his men will get the work done this time. "We have to win this (game) to stay top after missing the chance to beat Gombe United last weekend," he said to SuperSport.com.
Our prediction: 3 – 0

Gombe United v 3SC (Pantami Stadium)
Both teams have same form guide of three wins in their last five games but 3SC's form on the road has been terrible with just a draw in nine games.

Since 2004, Gombe United have been the domineering side in this same fixture winning all five games and not conceding. There's no way the Desert Scorpions won't win this game.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

*Out of ten games, The Predictor could only muster FOUR correct results including ONE exact score from the Jigawa Golden Stars versus Kwara United game.

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