This year's Federation Cup enters the last eight stage on Wednesday with seven Glo Premier League clubs including holders, Heartland in contention.
I have taken a detailed look at the eight teams vying for the semifinals and it is interesting that only three clubs - Heartland, Enyimba and Lobi Stars - have won the Cup in previous editions.
The quarterfinals in this year's Cup competition pits the traditionalists against the outsiders and I do expect thrilling football from the four games. But will there be an upset? Here's a full preview and prediction of the matches:
Heartland v Akwa United (Kaduna Township Stadium)
The Cup holders should have the duo of Daniel Akpeyi and Benjamin Francis back for this tie after international duty in Abidjan at the weekend. However, Akwa United have showed they can mix it against the big and small teams after bundling out one of the favourites, Enugu Rangers, in the previous round.
But I'll stick to Heartland reaching a third consecutive semifinals, as they remain one of favourites this year.
My prediction: 2 – 1
Warri Wolves v Kano Pillars (Kwara State Stadium)
This is my pick of the quarterfinals based on the form of both teams in all competitions this season. Though the two clubs have never won the Cup, I tip them among the favourites and unfortunately one will drop by.
Wolves have been strong but I fancy Kano Pillars, who were semifinalists last year, to progress as the Warri club have a faint history in the Cup competition.
My prediction: 0 – 1
Nasarawa United v Enyimba (MKO Abiola Stadium)
The last time both clubs met in the Cup was in July 2008 at the Aper Aku Stadium and Nasarawa United edged Enyimba by a goal. I think this is going to be a tight contest as Nasarawa United will be plucky as usual.
But Enyimba are getting into the groove of winning games now and with the way they dispatched 3SC with ease, I won't put my money on Nasarawa United reaching the last four.
My prediction: 0 – 2
Akwa Starlets v Lobi Stars (Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium)
The giant-killers, Akwa Starlets after taking out big guns, Dolphins and Kwara United, will turn on Lobi Stars. I recall that when both clubs last met in the round of 16 of the Cup four years ago, it ended 1 – 1 in open play before Lobi Stars won 5 – 4 via spot kicks.
You can never rule out the magic and upset that the Cup brings along with it. But I'll give it to Lobi to progress through penalties.
My prediction: 0 – 0 (4 – 5 penalties)