Friday, March 28, 2014

The Predictor previews doubleheader

Match Day 4 of the Glo Premier League will start off with a Friday game in the northeastern city of Gombe.

But it is the Port Harcourt doubleheader that has caught my attention since it will be the first time two matches will be played in one city on same day in the Premier League era.

The Port Harcourt doubleheaders will be live on SuperSport 9 this Saturday.

On Sunday, a new rivalry in the premier division will begin in the southeastern state of Abia between two-time African champions, Enyimba and newcomers, Abia Warriors.

For this weekend, just six matches will hold as the matches involving Caf Confederation Cup campaigners, Bayelsa United and Warri Wolves, have been moved to April.

Friday, March 28, 2014
Gombe United v Heartland (Pantami Stadium)

Both clubs have started this season poorly after playing three games apiece. Gombe United have managed to take just a point from nine while Heartland are a point better as both clubs find themselves in the bottom five.

Once again, Heartland will be without their influential captain and centre-back, Chinedu Efugh, who is yet to make an appearance this season. Gombe United centre-back, Peter Jang is out of this clash owing to a muscle tear and could be replaced by Cameroonian Saidou Moussa. I do expect Gombe United to get the full points from this game as Heartland have found little joy in this same fixture in recent seasons.

My prediction:1-0

Saturday, March 29, 2014
El-Kanemi Warriors v Akwa United (Kano Pillars)

The last time Akwa United defeated El-Kanemi Warriors in the top flight was in March 2007 when they won 2-1 in this same fixture. That season Akwa United did the double on the Warriors in a campaign which was abridged. But last term, goals from Bukar Bamai and Haruna Babalo ensured El-Kanemi won this same clash 2-1 with Ukeme Davies getting Akwa United's goal.

Akwa United captain, Nnamso Edo will be eyeing his fourth goal in four matches but I really doubt if that will happen in Kano.

My prediction: 2-1

Sharks v Crown FC (Sharks Stadium; live on SS9)

This is the first of the Port Harcourt doubleheader this Saturday. Surprisingly Crown FC have found themselves among the top three in the standings so early in the season but they are aware the Blue Angels did the double on them in the 2010/11 season including a 4-3 win in this same fixture in February 2011.

Last weekend Crown came from a goal down to defeat Sharks' city rivals, Dolphins 2-1 but they now face a bigger test from Gbenga Ogunbote's men. Though Sharks aren't scoring much so far I'll still tip them to win this.

My prediction: 1-0

Dolphins v Sunshine Stars (Sharks Stadium; live on SS9)

The second doubleheader of Saturday promises to be full of action and talking points. Sunshine Stars' last five trips to Port Harcourt have seen them avoid defeat twice in 2010 and 2013 with the scorelines ending 1-1 on both occasions.

I was impressed with Sunshine Stars' earlier this month when they played a 2-2 draw at Kano Pillars. They showed they're capable of causing any team problems. In Ifeanyi Egwim, Dolphins have the capacity to win games and this inclusive.

My prediction: 2-1

Nasarawa United v Lobi Stars (Lafia Township Stadium)

Lobi Stars have had it really good in this same fixture in recent years. Nasarawa United have not beaten Lobi since September 2008 when they won 2-0. In the last six meetings of this same fixture, Nasarawa United have won just twice with the other four ending in draws.

The Solid Miners are yet to win a game this season but I don't see why that should hurt them going into this game.

My prediction: 2-0

Sunday, March 30, 2014
Enyimba v Abia Warriors (Enyimba Stadium; live on SS9)

This is my match for the game week. It is the first-ever Abia derby between the two clubs. Abia Warriors come into this contest on the back of a two-nil loss at El-Kanemi Warriors in mid-week. But they will be buoyed to face their city rivals.

Enyimba have began the season well, claiming four points in their opening two games. I believe Zachary Baraje has got the playing personnel to put their rivals, who have recruited ex-Enyimba men in Bishop Onyeudo, Ogbonnaya Okemmiri, Chidozie Johnson and Uche Oguchi, to the sword.

My prediction: 1-0

•Out of the six matches played on Match Day 3, The Predictor got four correct results including one exact score.

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