Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Predictor captures Classic Saturday

It is going to be Classic Saturday for me in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) with a handful of contests scheduled for Matchday 29.

Kano, Port Harcourt, Ilorin and Yenagoa will play hosts to big games this Saturday as the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) enters its last 10 rounds of matches.

Saturday, August 31, 2013
Kano Pillars v Enugu Rangers (Sani Abacha Stadium)
This is one of Saturday's classic matches. Rangers have gone seven matches without a goal and continue to struggle to win their recent home games. I won't give Rangers a chance in Kano to survive.

With Gambo Mohammed now back in the Pillars' squad after an injury layoff, Rangers won't have to deal with just the creative spark of Rabiu Ali but an attacking threat which I doubt they will be able to nip in the bud.
My prediction: 1-0

Kwara United v Warri Wolves (Kwara State Stadium)
Fifth-placed Kwara United go up against Wolves in sixth. It's one of my four big games this Saturday and I expect an interesting outcome.

But Kwara United will continue with their scrappy run of home wins in recent games though I think Wolves will push them for pace with the like of Joseph Osadiaye, Oghenekaro Etebo and Freedom Omofomah if they feature.
My prediction: 1-0

El-Kanemi Warriors v Kaduna United (El-Kanemi Stadium)
The Warriors have won their last six home games without conceding and Kaduna United have lost all of their 14 games on the road this season. I think Kaduna United stand no chance in Maiduguri this Saturday.

Kaduna United will surely come under fire from Junior Rafael Boumsong, Ezekiel Thompson, Bukar Bamai and Musa Yawale and will certainly cave in.
My prediction: 3-0

Bayelsa United v Sharks (Samson Siasia Stadium)
This is another top clash this Saturday. Bayelsa United should keep their top spot but they should be prepared to work for it against Sharks who have since turned the corner after their initial struggles this season.

The Bayelsa club go into this tie after taking a point off Sunshine Stars in Akure on Thursday. Sharks will battle to the end with Christian Pyagbara, Odinga Odinga and co giving them depth but the hosts should edge this contest.
My prediction: 2-1

 Dolphins v Enyimba (Liberation Stadium; live on SuperSport Select)
This is my classic game of the matchday as two former champions face off. Enyimba will travel without three key players in Ifeanyi Ede, Bright Esieme and Rasheed Olabiyi but that won't affect the Aba club as they have capable replacements.

Dolphins have been poor in their last five games and have managed just a win but they have interesting players like Isiaka Olawale and Austin Ekpoma in midfield. I fancy Enyimba grinding out a result in Port Harcourt in the big clash.
My prediction: 1-1

Sunday, September 1, 2013
3SC v ABS (Lekan Salami Stadium)
In the first game, Ibrahim Abdullahi's goal was enough for ABS to take the full points. This is one of the three dogfights this weekend.

ABS have played pretty football but lack steel at the back and against 3SC who have not conceded in their last two home matches, they'll have to up their game. But 3SC have got enough quality personnel in their squad not to win this.
My prediction: 2-0

Akwa United v Sunshine Stars (Uyo Township Stadium)
It is 12 straight matches on the road without a goal for Sunshine Stars. Strikers Dele Olorundare and Izu Azuka have all left for clubs abroad and Ibrahim Ajani is struggling for form so I wonder who will break the goalscoring hoodoo on the road for the Akure Gunners.

I expect Akwa United to be all over their opponents from the blast of the whistle. The full points look so assured for the hosts.
My prediction: 1-0

Wikki Tourists v Heartland (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium)
This is a six-pointer and also one of the dogfights at the lower end of the table. Heartland have not found the back of the net in five of their last away matches.

I don't expect this to be an easy contest for Heartland with the recent form of Wikki trio, Alaba Johnson, Tunde Aremu and Shuaibu Ibrahim. Heartland will be made to work hard but will eke out a point.
My prediction: 0-0

Lobi Stars v Nasarawa United (Emmanuel Atongo Stadium)
For the first time this season, Nasarawa United scored four goals in a game including Victor Namo hitting a hat-trick. Lobi with a squad full of debutants in the league this season will be wary of their opponents' newfound form.

Terkaa Melai, Nanen Imenger, Joshua Abanyi, Stephen Eze and Douglas Achive should be able to prove their worth in this dogfight of bottom three teams and give Lobi that lift away from the base of the table.
My prediction: 1-0

Gombe United v Nembe City (Pantami Stadium)
City won the first of this instalment this season with two goals from Okiki Musampa. But Musampa like other City top stars have moved away from the team in the transfer window which has seen them sit just two points away from safety.

I think Nembe City will drop into the bottom four after this game as Gombe United will be too much for them.
My prediction: 2-0

•The Predictor notched up nine correct results but without an exact score, which is the first time this is happening this season.

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