Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Predictor's Week 32 preview

Enugu Rangers, Enyimba, Dolphins and Kano Pillars, all capable of going top of the table, play on the road this mid-week in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL). Table-topping Rangers still have the edge of maintaining their position if all four teams lose, as they have a superior goals difference.

Ijebu-Ode and Warri will play hosts to the biggest games of Matchday 32 while the game between ABS and Enyimba will be live on SuperSport.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Niger Tornadoes v Kano Pillars (Bako Kontagora Stadium)
This is the 18th head-to-head meeting between both sides in the top flight since 2003. Pillars have won one more game in the previous clashes than their hosts but have only managed two draws in their last eight visits to Minna while the others have ended in defeat including a 0 – 1 in this same game last term.

Tornadoes lost the reverse game this season by one-nil but will bank on the magic of Sibi Gwar to lift them against the Kano giants. Justin Tenger’s men are favourites to win this game, as they continue their steady climb away from relegation.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Akwa United v Rising Stars (Uyo Township Stadium)
The Promise Keepers are certainly taking away four points this term off struggling Rising Stars after the first game this season ended goalless in Ijebu-Ode. After two losses on the bounce in away games, Akwa United will show their strength playing at home against the new boys.

Rising Stars’ only bright spot in their last two games remains Yahaya Adamu but in Uyo it will be a different ball game for the Akure team.
Our prediction 2 – 0

ABS FC v Enyimba (Ilorin Township Stadium; live on SS9)
Josiah Madubuchi and Nzube Anazemba made sure that Enyimba got all the points when both teams first met this season in Aba. ABS in spite of their impressive eight-game unbeaten run this season, their performance have waned lately including a 1 – 1 at home to Heartland.

But ABS head coach, Kabir Sulaiman Dogo knows that this is a game they must win. “We must win this game. Our position on the table is not good for us and that’s why we must win,” he said to Enyimba have quality within their ranks but ABS’ duo of Abdulrahman Bashir and Andrew Abalogu are capable of causing all sorts of trouble when this match comes up live on SuperSport 9 from 4pm local time (5pm CAT).
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Sharks v 3SC (Sharks Stadium)
3SC will fancy their chance of leaving Port Harcourt with a result after taking a point in this same game last season in a 1 – 1 draw. The Oluyole Warriors won the first game this term by 2 – 1 after Osagona Ighodaro got a late winner. Sharks have failed to win twice in four games in Port Harcourt against the away side.

For 3SC, they will have to be on their guard against the impressive winger, Gomo Onduku as well as Bright Ejike, Victor Ezeji and Kola Anubi, who have all been impressive at the Sharks Stadium in recent games. The Blue Angels should not blink in this game.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Warri Wolves v Enugu Rangers (Warri City Stadium)
Rangers again will have their hands full in Warri as their dream to end a 28-year wait for their first title comes under a big test against Wolves. Rangers have not won at Wolves since their 1 – 0 win in August 2008 and lost in their last visit by 0 – 1.

Earlier in the season both sides shared the points in a goalless draw in Enugu but in this game Wolves do not look like a side that will drop points in spite of managing just a win in their last five games.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Ocean Boys v Kwara United (Samson Siasia Stadium)
Ocean Boys failed to turn up for their mid-week game in Kano but will play hosts to Kwara United in this second meeting of the season after the first ended goalless. In their last two games of this corresponding fixture both teams have shared the spoils. In ten top flight meetings, Ocean Boys have beaten Kwara United just twice in 2007 and 2008.

The Divine Warriors are bedeviled with financial a woe which has led to losing key players and they will want to win after a run of seven games with no wins. Ocean Boys have taken just a point in 21 from their last seven games and will pick their first win in eight games.
Our prediction: 2 – 1

Heartland v Wikki Tourists (Dan Anyiam Stadium)
The Tourists won the first game 1 – 0 but remain the worst team on the road after managing to take just a point in 15 games. Cup holders, Heartland have not had the best of the season and have lost twice at home to Enyimba and Sharks but they will avoid a third loss at home this term.

Heartland have in recent seasons looked like a side set up for only the cup games. But that will not stop them from taking the three points in Owerri as they have never conceded a goal against Wikki since 2003 in seven home games.
Our prediction: 2 – 0

Sunshine Stars v Dolphins (Dipo Dina Stadium)
NPL champions, Dolphins have lost in their last two visits to Sunshine Stars and last picked a point in the league at Kaduna United in April when they drew 1 – 1. Sunshine Stars have taken just three points from 15 in their last five games and Gbenga Ogunbote’s men will be buoyed for a win in this game.

Adamu Mohammed’s goal was enough for Dolphins to win on the opening day in Port Harcourt, the Akure Gunners without their influential captain, Godfrey Oboabona will give the titleholders a run for the points in Ijebu-Ode.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Jigawa Golden Stars v Kaduna United (Hadejia Township Stadium)
This is a relegation six-pointer. Kaduna United won the first game 2 – 1 after they were made to work for it up till the last ten minutes by the Golden Stars. Evans Ogenyi and his team lost for the first time in six games and just hover above the drop zone with a point.

Bala Mohammed has been the main source of goals for Jigawa Stars, as the highest scoring midfielder on nine goals. Mohammed or Nobel Ansor is a huge tip to score the winner against Kaduna United.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

Lobi Stars v Gombe United (Emmanuel Atongo Stadium)
Lobi Stars have an impressive home record as the only side to have dropped the least point(s) – one. Gombe United have lost their last five games conceding 14 and scoring three.  The last time the Desert Scorpions won at Lobi was in February 2003 when they won 3 – 1.

Gombe United will be up to face a talented Lobi team with the like of David Tyavkase, Bassey Ezekiel, Moses Orkuma, Lazarus Chukwu, Tony Okpotu and Jonah Abutu among others, and will leave without a point.
Our prediction: 1 – 0

*The Predictor got EIGHT correct results out of the nine games played on Matchday 31 including TWO actual scores.

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