Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Predictor's Matchday 26 preview

The hot spot this weekend will be the Sani Abacha Stadium, where Kano Pillars play hosts to Nigeria Premier League (NPL) leaders, Enugu Rangers.

Three games are off while there will one live game on SuperSport 9 from Port Harcourt and a delayed broadcast from the same city this weekend. Here's a full preview of Matchday 26:

Saturday, May 12, 2012
Kano Pillars v Enugu Rangers (Sani Abacha Stadium)
This is the 20th meeting between both sides in the top flight since March 2003. Table-topping Rangers have won nine of the 19 previous games against Pillars’ seven but have struggled in Kano, where they have drawn thrice – in 2004, 2006 and 2009 – from nine visits. In the reverse fixture Kano Pillars lost 1 – 3 but have won the last two of this same match in Kano by identical scorelines of 1 – 0.

Yes Rangers may have the likes of Chikeluba Ofoedu and the free-scoring Alhaji Gero, who scored in the 2 – 0 win over champions, Dolphins in mid-week, Kano Pillars are favourites to take the points on the strength of their performances against the big sides at their home ground this term and add to that Wednesday’s 2 – 2 draw at six-time winners, Enyimba.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

ABS FC v Akwa United (Ilorin Township Stadium)
Goals from Dauda Eboh and Solomon Jabason helped Akwa United to a 2 – 1 win over ABS, whose goal came from Abiodun Sala in the first-ever Premier League clash between the two sides. ABS will be aiming for back-to-back wins in the space of four days after picking a win on the road against city rivals, Kwara United on Matchday 25.

The Promise Keepers have been the surprise team from the promoted sides and they go into this game on the back of an impressive run in their last five games in which they lost to only Sunshine Stars. Both teams will share the points in Ilorin.
Our prediction: 1 – 1

Sharks v Gombe United (Sharks FC Stadium; live on SuperSport 9)
This game will be live on SuperSport 9 and Sharks will definitely have the pictures of the 0 – 5 thumping they suffered in the hands of Gombe United in the first meeting this season still fresh in mind. Gombe United have won once at Sharks since 2003 when they thrashed the Blue Angels 3 – 0 in December 2005. Last season in this same game, Sharks won 1 – 0 and will be keen to claim all points this time.

Mustapha Babadidi still remains on the sidelines but Sharks will bank on the wing wizardry of Gomo Onduku to kill off any challenge from the Desert Scorpions in this tie. The Blue Angels are good to take the three points.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Sunday, May 13, 2012
Kaduna United v Kwara United (Kaduna Township Stadium)
On paper, it is just impossible to look away from the hosts, Kaduna United picking all the points in this tie following their superb run of late. But Kwara United in their last three visits to Kaduna have won twice by same scorelines of 2 – 1 in 2007 and 2009.

But Tunde Sanni’s men have struggled to score goals in their last five games on the road. They have scored just once when they lost 1 – 2 to Lobi Stars. Kaduna United are primed to take the points that will see them move into safety.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Lobi Stars v Wikki Tourists (Emmanuel Atongo Stadium)
Lobi Stars have kept a 100 percent record against the Tourists since 2003 – winning all six home games against their opponents. Wikki have also failed to score a single goal in those games on the road to Lobi Stars.

Though the first game this term ended 2 – 1 in favour of the Tourists, David Tyavkase, Moses Orkuma, Bassey Ezekiel, Tony Okpout and Lazarus Chukwu will be on the prowl to ensure that Bosso’s men leave Katsina-Ala without a point and goal.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Ocean Boys v Enyimba (Samson Siasia Stadium)
Ocean Boys have found themselves in the wrong end of the table all season and now face Enyimba, who dropped points to fellow title contenders, Kano Pillars in mid-week in Aba. In the first game, it was a couple of goals from Josiah Maduabuchi that condemned the Divine Warriors to a loss in February.

The hosts are seeking their first win over the People’s Elephants since February 2009. Ocean Boys have lost three key men in Ebinipre Dengo, Chiamaka Madu and Emmanuel Enize in the transfer window, and confidence at the club is at its lowest when Enyimba come calling. Augustine Eguavoen and his team will leave Yenagoa with a point.
Our prediction: 1 – 1

Dolphins v 3SC (Liberation Stadium)
3SC won the reverse game via a spot kick converted by goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye. But the former Pontevedra CF custodian is serving out a three-match suspension for unsporting conduct and will not be part of the Oluyole Warriors’ contingent to Port Harcourt when they face champions, Dolphins this Sunday.

The Ibadan-based club have lost all four visits to Dolphins including last season’s 0 – 1 loss. Dolphins may have struggled in their last five games, the road form of 3SC should not pose any problem as they will just edge this tie.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

*The Predictor got FIVE correct results from eight games including ONE actual score.

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