Friday, June 01, 2012

The Predictor's Week 30 preview

The real Oriental Derby will be up this Saturday in Owerri. The derby got its name from the popular musical high-life band, Oriental Brothers with the Old Imo State adopting the moniker 'Orient Stamp' that paved way for the biggest southeast football derby.

The real Oriental Derby back in the 1970s was between Enugu Rangers and Spartans, which later became Iwuanyanwu Nationale and now Heartland. Over the years the rivalry between both sides have waned leading to some followers mistakenly branding Enyimba as one of the Orient sides.

This time Rangers are in the hunt for a first league title in 28 years but the Cup holders, the Naze Millionaires will have pride at stake in one of the biggest Nigeria Premier League (NPL) derbies this term.

Nine other games will be up across the nation with Hadejia, Katsina-Ala and Warri centres sure to enjoy a lot of focus. Here's a full preview of Matchday 30:

Saturday, June 2, 2012
Heartland v Enugu Rangers (Dan Anyiam Stadium)
This is the 18th meeting between both sides since February 2003. It is undoubtedly the biggest game of this matchday. Heartland have remained Rangers' bogey team winning all previous eight games of this same fixture in Owerri.

Nine years down the line, Rangers are yet to win at Heartland, and it will be tough for Okey Emordi and his men after they dropped points in the first game following a 1-1 draw in Enugu.
Our prediction: 1-0

Niger Tornadoes v Kaduna United (Bako Kontagora Stadium)
Tornadoes will be keen to pick their first win in two years against Kaduna United. The last time Tornadoes won was in May 2010 by 3-0. For Kaduna United they have won once in Minna - a 2-1 win in 2008.

It is difficult to look beyond Tornadoes taking all points in this game, as they continue their climb out of the drop zone.
Our prediction: 2-1

Akwa United v Kwara United (Uyo Township Stadium)
Kwara United edged Akwa United 2-1 in the reverse game in Ilorin in February. When both teams met in this same game in 2007, it ended 1-1.

Kwara United are on a three-game unbeaten streak but Uyo has become a fortress for The Promise Keepers and it is expected that they will win this.
Our prediction: 2-0

Sharks v Rising Stars (Sharks Stadium)
The Blue Angels got a point off struggling Rising Stars in the reverse game. On paper, Rising Stars do not stand a chance of taking a point away from Port Harcourt as Sharks have won their last five home games.
Our prediction: 2-0

Jigawa Golden Stars v Dolphins (Hadejia Township Stadium)
Dolphins' title defence will come under scrutiny at Jigawa Stars, who are yet to lose at home this term. The Golden Stars have put up strong displays at Sunshine Stars and Rising Stars to avoid defeats.

Bala Mohammed is sure of a win in this game. He told "We have beaten some of the big teams at home this season and we are ready to win against Dolphins and give ourselves a good chance of survival."

Dolphins have had a topsy-turvy performance on the road lately. Jigawa Stars should edge this by the odd goal.
Our prediction: 1-0

ABS FC v Wikki Tourists (Ilorin Township Stadium)
Abubakar Aminu's goal was the difference in the first game as the Tourists won by a goal. Wikki has picked just a point on the road so far and have not scored in their last three away games against 3SC, Lobi Stars and Dolphins.

The strike pair of Abdulrahman Bashir and Andrew Abalogu will be back in the ABS' side. It will be a tough afternoon in Ilorin for Wikki.
Our prediction: 3-1

Warri Wolves v Enyimba (Warri City Stadium)
Enyimba have won at Warri Wolves twice in the last eight years - 1-0 in 2009 and 2-1 in 2004. Austin Eguavoen's men have shown resilience by avoiding defeat in their two away games at Ocean Boys and Dolphins.

At home this season, Wolves have switched off in the big games against Kano Pillars (0-0), Dolphins (1-1) and Heartland (0-0). Enyimba are capable of leaving Warri with a result.
Our prediction: 1-1

Lobi Stars v Kano Pillars (Emmanuel Atongo Stadium)
Kano Pillars won the first meeting 1-0 via a Gambo Mohammed goal. Pillars last won at Lobi in 2004 and have avoided defeat twice after then.

Lobi have dropped points just once at their adopted home ground, Katsina-Ala - a 1-1 draw against 3SC in February. But coming off an away win at Ocean Boys, the hosts will put a dent on Pillars' bid to close the gap on table-topping Rangers.
Our prediction: 1-0

Ocean Boys v 3SC (Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium)
3SC have never won or drawn at Ocean Boys in the top flight. But this time they have a chance of winning or avoiding defeat as the 2006 champions play their home games in Benin City as punishment.

Ocean Boys are facing a patcy period financially and on the pitch. Will they win this game? Our answer is no as 3SC will earn a point.
Our prediction: 1-1

Sunshine Stars v Gombe United (Dipo Dina Stadium)
Three games without a win does not befit the status of Sunshine Stars competing in the 2012 Caf Champions League. Gombe United have not taken a point at Sunshine Stars but won the first meeting 1-0 through Mustapha Babadidi's goal.

Babadidi still remains doubtful for the trip to Ijebu-Ode. With or without Babadidi, the Akure Gunners will not spare Gombe United.
Our prediction: 2-0

*It was SEVEN correct results with NO actual score from nine games for 'The Predictor' after Week 29 games last weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Rangers chasing title for 28 years? Who would have imagined this in the 70s and 80s?