Saturday, August 03, 2013

The Predictor sees Wolves on the rise

With the postponement of the Kano Pillars - Akwa United clash by the League Management Company (LMC) owing to the coaches of the Nigerian champions being involved in a car crash, I have picked Warri Wolves to edge closer to the top of the Glo Premier League table after this weekend.

The dogfight is definitely activated as the bottom four clubs aim to give themselves shouting chances of survival.

Saturday, August 3, 2013
Kwara United v Sharks (Kwara State Stadium)

With each round of matches that go by Sharks continue to look like a team heading for the second tier. I don't know how they will survive in Ilorin against Kwara United who won the reverse game in Port Harcourt via Najeem Olukokun's strike.

Certainly a double looks on the card for the Afonja Warriors over Sharks who have failed to earn a point in their last five away games. The Blue Angels though can draw inspiration from the fact that they had earlier secured a 0 – 0 in Ilorin against ABS this term, but against Kwara United I won't place a bet on Sharks swimming out of trouble.

My prediction: 2 – 0

August 4, 2013
El-Kanemi Warriors v Enyimba (El-Kanemi Stadium)

The Warriors have already downed Kano Pillars, Enugu Rangers and Heartland in Maiduguri this term, and it's going to be tough for the People's Elephant escaping defeat.

I feel the Cup schedule in mid-week and the long trip from the southwest to the northeast will be Enyimba's undoing for this tie. Zachary Baraje, who has been named the League Bloggers Awards (LBA) manager for July, will definitely set the duo of Raphael Boumsong and Ezekiel Thompson on the two-time African champions, and I believe it will yield the three points.

My prediction: 1 – 0

Wikki Tourists v Bayelsa United (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium)

Bayelsa United head coach, Ladan Bosso returns to a familiar terrain to face his old club. Wikki lost the first meeting this season 0 – 2 but are now left with no option than to give themselves a chance of climbing out of bottom place.

I'm sure the Tourists will give an arm and a leg for this contest but it's sure going to be a tightly fought match.

My prediction: 1 – 0

Dolphins v ABS (Liberation Stadium)

Former champions Dolphins will definitely be looking to crash into the top four after this weekend. ABS appear jaded this term especially as their talisman, Abdulrahman Bashir has struggled to come to the party.

Ifeanyi Egwim and Olewezi Johnson have come good in Dolphins' last two games and it is difficult for me to look away from the quality at Stanley Eguma's disposal for this tie.

My prediction: 2 – 1

Lobi Stars v 3SC (Emmanuel Atongo Stadium)

Federation Cup semifinalists, Lobi Stars have not beaten 3SC in two years, five months and 13 days. 3SC are on a poor league run of five matches without a win since a 2 – 0 triumph over Kaduna United on June 12.

Though Lobi have found themselves at the wrong side of the Premier League table following no wins in three straight matches, I doubt 3SC can replicate the 1-1 draw they got in this corresponding fixture last season.

My prediction: 2 – 0

Gombe United v Sunshine Stars (Pantami Stadium)

The Akure Gunners have been poor on the road this term by their standards - taking just two points out of 33 and scoring just twice and conceding 14. Sunshine Stars have brought back players like Tamen Medrano and Izu Azuka in the mid-season transfer window.

Gombe United have been so strong at home this season dropping two points. I'll go for them clinching all points in this game.

My prediction: 1 – 0

Kaduna United v Heartland (Kaduna Township Stadium)

After being bundled out of the Cup, I expect Heartland to give Kaduna United a real battle for the points this Sunday. The visiting team have conditioned well having spent about a week in Kaduna.

The Crocodiles have had a decent run of five wins in their last five home games but I think Heartland can pull off a result from this game.

My prediction: 1 – 1

Warri Wolves v Enugu Rangers (Warri City Stadium)

It is four years, two months and nine days since Rangers defeated Wolves in a top flight game which is seven straight league matches. Okey Emordi's men have been far from impressive in recent matches especially on the road.

Wolves have got quality to throw all over the park. Oghenekaro Etebo, Musa Najare, Joseph Osadiaye and Freedom Omofomah are among those capable of hurting Rangers. Rangers cannot feature Sunday Mba in this game as he is ineligible since he is loan from Wolves. I know the Flying Antelopes will be broken by the Warri club in this contest.

My prediction: 1 – 0

Nembe City v Nasarawa United (Samson Siasia Stadium)

Both teams appear to have lost that early season zest that saw them stay among the top six at some point this term. Nasarawa United head coach, Alphonsus Dike has often employed the odd tactic in road trips opting for a lone striker and I expect him to do same for this game.

If John Aranka sets up his team in an attacking mode, then I expect at least a two-goal win as Nasarawa United will also be leggy from playing in the Cup in mid-week.

My prediction: 3 – 1

•The Predictor racked up seven correct results including two exact scores on Matchday 22.

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