Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Predictor’s Matchday 25 preview

Aba and Enugu will play hosts to the biggest games on Matchday 25 of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL). The two games will have bearing on which team among Enugu Rangers, Enyimba and Dolphins emerge top of the standings after Wednesday.

At the other end of the table, there is still no joy in sight for the bottom three – Ocean Boys, Niger Tornadoes and Rising Stars – as it appears they will remain in that zone for another matchday. Here are the preview for the eight games for Week 25:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Kwara United v ABS FC (Ilorin Township Stadium; live on SuperSport Select)
Kwara United got the rude shock from their city rivals, ABS last term losing both two legs with similar three-nil scorelines. This term both sides fired blanks in their first meeting and this time they will come up live on SuperSport Select from 4pm Nigerian time (5pm CAT) with the hosts being the in-form team having winning their last two games with ABS struggling in their last five.

Interim coach, Kabir Sulaiman Dogo will be missing in the dugout for ABS as his deputy Mashood Adebayo steps in for him while he is away on a coaching course. Kwara United can capitalize to earn their first win in this derby.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Sunshine Stars v Lobi Stars (Dipo Dina Stadium)
Lobi Stars last triumphed in this encounter in August 2003 when they won by a goal. But four visits after that have ended up with a draw and three losses including last season’s 0 – 2 defeat to Sunshine Stars. The Akure Gunners have not had it so good against Lobi in recent top flight games in which they have managed just three wins over their rivals.

But Lobi have taken just two points on the road in 12 games and have shipped in 17 goals. It will be tough to withstand Sunshine Stars who have netted 18 times at home this term.
Our prediction: 3 – 0

Enyimba v Kano Pillars (Enyimba Sports Stadium)
This is one of the two clashes among the top four sides. Aba has not been a favourable ground for Kano Pillars since 2003. Pillars have succeeded in taking a point once off Enyimba in this same game out of seven trips to Aba.

In the reverse fixture of this season, Kano Pillars triumphed 2 – 0 with goals from Rabiu Ali and Mannir Ubale. The trip to Aba could see Pillars suffering their third loss on the bounce and even drop out of the top four.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Enugu Rangers v Dolphins (Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium)
Rangers in first place go up against third placed Dolphins in Enugu. In this corresponding game last season, it ended 2 – 2 but Dolphins have won the first meeting of this season 1 – 0 thanks to a Johnson Olewezi late goal.

Dolphins come up against Okey Emordi’s men who have scored eight goals in their last two games and it will be a platform for both teams to size up their title credentials. It is going to be a tight contest, as Rangers are expected to grab their first win over Dolphins in two years.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Gombe United v Kaduna United (Pantami Stadium)
Bernard Ogbe’s men will fancy the chance of climbing into the top four again as they are favoured to win the points against Kaduna United. Gombe United won the first clash through Ahmed Aliyu’s solitary goal in Kaduna.

Gombe United will complete the double over their opponents, who have lost all four previous trips to their rivals since 2006 and without scoring a goal.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Akwa United v Ocean Boys (Uyo Township Stadium)
Ocean Boys will come under the firepower of Akwa United in this tie. In the top flight, the 2006 champions have never won in Uyo and that will not happen this time. The last time Ocean Boys played at the Uyo stadium, they lost 0 – 3.

Both teams shared the points in the first clash this season in January this year. Ocean Boys will remain in the bottom four, as The Promise Keepers will show them no favours.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Wikki Tourists v Rising Stars (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium)
It is becoming clear that Rising Stars are on their way back to the lower cadre of the Nigerian league. The Tourists have lost their last two games at Kwara United and Dolphins and will avoid dropping points in this game.

Rising Stars may have taken three points in the first game this term via Philip Ede’s goal, but Wikki’s strength at home will just be enough to win this game.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Thursday, May 10, 2012
3SC v Niger Tornadoes (Lekan Salami Stadium)
The Oluyole Warriors will be fired up to win this game against Tornadoes, who are surprisingly third from bottom. Sibi Gwar made sure Tornadoes won the reverse game this season with his goal but in Ibadan the northern club face a different opposition.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

*The Predictor got SEVEN games correct including THREE exact scorelines on Matchday 20 last week.

No comments:

Post a Comment