Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Predictor – Classic Wednesday in Warri

It is Matchday 25 in the Glo Premier League (or Nigeria Professional Football League) and the game between Warri Wolves and Enyimba offers a Classic Wednesday. The match is also live on SuperSport 9 from 4pm local time.

There's also the Port Harcourt derby between Dolphins and Sharks.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Warri Wolves v Enyimba (Warri City Stadium)
This is without a doubt my pick of this matchday. The first clash this season ended goalless in Aba. Both teams are in the top five and have some of the best players this season in Bishop Onyeudo and Oghenekaro Etebo among others.

I'm very sure this contest will produce a number of key individual battles on the pitch but for me, it will end with a share of the points and no goals.

My prediction: 0 – 0

Wikki Tourists v 3SC (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium)
3SC just sit one spot above the drop zone and this tie against Wikki is a six-pointer. In the reverse game, 3SC nearly blew a three-goal but eventually won 3 – 2.

The Tourists have struggled from the outset of this season as they've continually found themselves in the bottom four. Though they will play behind closed doors, I doubt 3SC have turned the corner after defeating champions Kano Pillars 3-1 in Ibadan on Sunday.

My prediction: 1 – 0

Kano Pillars v ABS (Sani Abacha Stadium)
The champions look good to do a double on ABS. Kano Pillars have never lost a top flight game to their opponents who joined the elite division three seasons ago as Bukola Babes before they changed name.

Super Eagles striker, Gambo Mohammed could make a return for Pillars after suffering an injury last month. Even with Gambo's return I'm not expecting Pillars to run over ABS but the Kano club will get the job done.

My prediction: 2 – 1

Kwara United v Enugu Rangers (Kwara State Stadium)
This is another top game on this matchday. Rangers go into this tie without a point and a goal in their last five games on the road.

Kwara United have not beaten Rangers in their last two meetings in this corresponding game. Samson Unuanel and his men will definitely relish the chance of climbing into the top two or three. I tip them to win this.

My prediction: 1 – 0

El-Kanemi Warriors v Nembe City (El-Kanemi Stadium)
The Warriors have gone five home games without conceding as Sharks were the last side to score in Maiduguri in May. City's fortunes this season have changed since losing key players and their road trips have been characterised by struggles since the surprise opening day win at Heartland.

El-Kanemi will likely miss the attacking input of Ezekiel Thompson who suffered an injury at Bayelsa United on Sunday but that shouldn't stop them from winning this. This game kicks off 3pm local time.

My prediction: 3 – 0

Bayelsa United v Akwa United (Samson Siasia Stadium)
In the reverse game, goals from Mfon Udoh, Usman Sharafa and Ubong Ekpai handed Akwa United a 3 – 0 win. But Akwa United have found it hard to replicate their home form on the road.

I don't expect Akwa United to grind out a result in Yenagoa as Ladan Bosso will put up his best men to win this and keep the chase on table-topping Kano Pillars going.

My prediction: 2 – 0

Lobi Stars v Sunshine Stars (Emmanuel Atongo Stadium)
Suddenly Sunshine Stars are struggling not to just pick a point on the road but score a goal despite having the league's leading scorer, Dele Olorundare in their squad. By the way Olorundare has only mastered scoring in home games alone.

No doubt, Lobi Stars have played themselves into the bottom spot but the Akure Gunners won't hurt them in Katsina-Ala.

My prediction: 2 – 0

Dolphins v Sharks (Liberation Stadium)
The Port Harcourt derby takes centre stage. Sharks have done well in their last three matches - going unbeaten and climbing within touching distance of survival. It seems they've turned the corner.

Dolphins are in the top 10 while Sharks are still trapped in the bottom four. Both teams will cancel out themselves.

My prediction: 0 – 0

Gombe United v Heartland (Pantami Stadium)
I think Heartland will find themselves in the bottom four after this tie. I won't stake a kobo on the Naze Millionaires eking out a result at the Pantami as they are a team blowing cold than hot more often.

Heartland won the reverse game 4 – 0, but this time they are not in same fine form to face the like of Babangida Ibrahim, Sani Mohammed, Cyril Obodo and Ibrahim Chilli after their coach, Ndubuisi Nduka was sacked on Sunday. The Savannah Scorpions will win this.

My prediction: 3 – 1

Kaduna United v Nasarawa United (Kaduna Township Stadium)
Pressure is mounting on Nasarawa United head coach, Alphonsus Dike as his men have gone five straight games without a win. And I won't tip them to leave Kaduna with a point especially with their sit-back formation in road games.

If Dike opts for his usual pack-the-midfield-and-defence strategy, I'm sure Ndubuisi Ekwuruibe and his teammates will have a field day. My money is on Kaduna United to cruise to a win.

My prediction: 2 – 0

•It was a tough Matchday 24 for The Predictor who could muster six correct results including just one exact score.

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