Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Predictor – Rangers, Pillars clash

The two top sides in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), Enugu Rangers and Kano Pillars, come up against each in the big game of Matchday Nine.

The matches in Aba, Akure and Lafia will also draw attention just as the battle at the bottom wrung heat up. All games in the PFL hold this Sunday.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Enugu Rangers v Kano Pillars (Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium)

This is a top-of-the-table clash. The champions head to Enugu for this game that could determine the leaders of the league after Matchday Nine. Kano Pillars have stayed top for five consecutive matchdays and have taken eight points from 15 on the road.

Last season in this fixture, Rangers won 3-1 and should win this match, which is the game of the day.

My prediction: 1-0

ABS v 3SC (Kwara State Stadium)

ABS bungled a two-goal lead at Akwa United in the last matchday but will come up against 3SC who will have Gbolahan Salami and Tony Edjomariegwe back in their squad.

3SC have come unstuck in their two visits to ABS losing 0-2 and 1-4. This term, the Ibadan club, in spite of their good start, have managed to score just once on the road and shipped in eight goals. I'll fancy ABS to win this.

My prediction: 2-1

Sunshine Stars v Akwa United (Akure Township Stadium)

Akwa United have now gone three games on the spin without a win and a fourth one looks just around the corner when they face Sunshine Stars, who have been very strong at home in the last three seasons.

The Akure Gunners have won the last three clashes of this same fixture with identical scorelines of 1-0. The last time Sunshine Stars lost at home was on November 23, 2008 when they lost 0-1 to Heartland. Akwa United in my book should not ruffle the Stars as they lack that cutting edge on the road.

My prediction: 2-0

Sharks v Bayelsa United (Sharks Stadium)

This is a south-south derby and the odds are stacked against the basement boys, Sharks. They have not won in their three last home matches and have managed just a win in their last six head-to-head games against Bayelsa United since 2007.

But I think Gbenga Ogunbote's men will strike the right cords after their 1-1 draw at Wikki Tourists, which was quite a rare outcome. I really do expect the Blue Angels to win considering their struggling form of scoring goals this season.

My prediction: 1-0

Heartland v Wikki Tourists (Dan Anyiam Stadium)

Trips down south have always been tough for the Tourists, and they come up against Heartland who have been in good form in their last three home games. The Naze Millionaires have scored 11 goals in their last three games at home. Wikki must be wary of Isah Akor, as he has scored four goals in Heartland's last three home matches.

I'll back the Naze Millionaires to turn on the style against Wikki Tourists and win comfortably.

My prediction: 3-0

Nasarawa United v Lobi Stars (Lafia Township Stadium)

The hosts suffered their heaviest loss of the season when they fell 0-3 at Dolphins after a five-game unbeaten streak. Lobi go into this match without a win on the road and are yet to score in two straight away games.

Nasarawa United won this corresponding fixture 2-0 the last time both teams met in the top flight in September 2008. This game has the trappings of a draw on it.

My prediction: 1-1

Enyimba v Dolphins (Enyimba Stadium)

Dolphins have not beaten Enyimba in top flight football in the past two years. Enyimba have also been dominant in the last three games of this corresponding fixture.

It is the worst start to a season in the last 10 years for the People's Elephant who have not won in their last five games, including two successive draws at home to Kwara United and Warri Wolves. But I expect a reaction from Salisu Yusuf's men this Sunday against Dolphins.

My prediction: 2-0

Nembe City v Gombe United (Samson Siasia Stadium)

NPFL new boys, Nembe City, had their four-game unbeaten run snapped at Kwara United in mid-week. Gombe United edged Enyimba by a goal on Wednesday but make a trip to face City in first clash in the top division.

The Scorpions have lost all four away matches at Nasarawa United, Heartland, Sunshine Stars and 3SC. I will tip John Aranka's team to take the full points.

My prediction: 2-1

Warri Wolves v Kwara United (Warri City Stadium)

Wolves have the longest unbeaten streak at the moment - seven in total with six being draws. The only win of the hosts this term remains a 4-1 win over El-Kanemi Warriors.

Kwara United's experienced defender, Okey Odita returns for this game after serving out a one-match suspension. The hosts will go for a second win and stretch their run of unbeaten games to eight.

Kaduna United v El-Kanemi Warriors (Kaduna Township Stadium)

The Crocodiles go up against the Warriors in this game of two teams in the bottom five. It has been two wins and two draws for the hosts at home.

El-Kanemi have struggled in their last three away games. Ali Adamu has been the main man for Kaduna United so far this time and I expect him to turn up for this game and inspire the hosts to a win.

My prediction: 1-0

*The Predictor got six games correct including one exact score in the last matchday.

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