Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Akwa Utd will fall, says The Predictor

Akwa United before a league match. Photo:
Akwa United are enjoying their best start to any Glo Premier League season in recent years. But I know their superb credentials to the start of this season will surely come under scrutiny in Jos this Wednesday.
My eyes will also be fixed on the bottom-of-the-table clash between Nembe City and Heartland in Omoku.

There will be an early kickoff in Kano, which will be live on SuperSport 9, while the Kano Pillars versus Bayelsa United match has been put on hold to allow the latter to prepare for their Caf Confederation Cup clash with Sewe Sport this weekend.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Giwa FC v Akwa United (Rwang Pam Stadium)
I am backing Giwa FC to claim the scalp of the leaders, Akwa United. The Jos club have been in fine form and have gone unbeaten in their last four matches, including winning at FC Taraba at the weekend.

Akwa United will be without one of their reliable defenders in Emmanuel Ariwa. Charles Okoro has scored twice in his last two appearances for Giwa FC and I'm sure he's now a marked man. But Giwa FC will nick this.

My prediction: 1-0

Dolphins v Warri Wolves (Liberation Stadium)Stanley Eguma will be keen to see his men win their first game in five matches. Dolphins have drawn their last four games, scoring just twice.

Dolphins will have to be up for this game as Wolves will have the trio of Michael Egbeta, Kola Anubi and goalkeeper Okiemute Odah restored to their team. It's going to be a close contest but Eguma's men should edge this.

My prediction: 1-0

Enugu Rangers v Abia Warriors (Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium)The Oriental Derby has now taken a quadrangular shape though clashes between Rangers and Heartland remain the original Oriental Derby. This game is the third of the south-east derbies that will take place this season.

Rangers will be wary of Abia Warriors who are newcomers in this ever-expanding derby. The Warriors had earlier stunned six-time champions Enyimba in Aba in one of the Oriental Derbies. Rangers have not been scoring freely in recent home matches, but I think that will change.

My prediction: 2-0

Nembe City v Heartland (Kris Dera Hotel Stadium)This is a dogfight at the lower end of the table. Basement boys Nembe City play hosts to Heartland, in 19th position, in the bottom-of-the-table contest. Interestingly both clubs are yet to win a game this season.

Last season City defeated Heartland home and away. I'm backing City to win their first match this season as Heartland have shown inconsistency so far.

My prediction: 1-0

El-Kanemi Warriors v Crown FC (Kano Pillars Stadium; live on SS 9)This is an early kickoff billed to start from 2pm (3pm CAT). From the word go, I'll stand by El-Kanemi Warriors to claim the full points from this contest. Crown FC, for all of their good form at home, have been nowhere near good enough on the road.

I'm wondering where the goals for Crown FC will come from for a team yet to score in 270 minutes of football on the road this term? That doesn't sit well, as they face El-Kanemi now unbeaten in five matches.

My prediction: 2-0

Kaduna United v Sharks (Ahmadu Bello Stadium)Gbenga Ogunbote has built Sharks to become one of the strongest sides this season and it is evident to see in their results so far. Sharks combine grit, skill and pace, and I sense they're closing in on an away victory.

Kaduna United have been unconvincing to me except against FC Taraba when they won 3-1. Even without their influential and in-form captain, Odinga Odinga, suspended for this game, I expect Sharks to cause United all sorts of problem.

My prediction: 1-2

Nasarawa United v Gombe United (Lafia Township Stadium)Gombe United have not won a point in their last six trips to Lafia and last scored there in 2005. The Savannah Scorpions have failed to win an away game since April 2012, now two years.

There's really little to fuss about over either teams. Nasarawa United, like Gombe United, are still struggling to get their rhythm under Baba Ganaru, I'll fancy them to win this contest.

My prediction: 2-1

Sunshine Stars v FC Taraba (Akure Township Stadium)I think the reality of top flight football will start to dawn on FC Taraba from this game on after that shock loss at home to Giwa FC on Sunday. Sunshine Stars have been among the slow starters this term - the more reason they've found themselves in the bottom four in spite of impressive draws at Kano Pillars and Enugu Rangers.

I really do not expect the Akure Gunners to be slow starters when they play hosts to FC Taraba, who have shipped in three goals each at Kaduna United and Kano Pillars. I'll back the Stars to hit FC Taraba for three as well.

My prediction: 3-0

Enyimba v Lobi Stars (Enyimba Stadium)As much as Lobi Stars have looked good at home, for me they've been dismal on the road - losing all three away games, scoring none and conceding five this season. No doubt Enyimba have struggled to get off the blocks but I'm still not going to write them off ahead of this game.

Zachary Baraje is back in the saddle after being told to "step aside" by the Enyimba management. Baraje now knows there's no margin for error from this point on. Abdulrahman Bashir, Sibi Gwar, Chimezie Amanfor, Rasak Aliyu, Chinedu Udoji and Mfon Udoh should all star in Enyimba's win.

My prediction: 2-0

•The Predictor could only muster four correct results out of nine, including just one exact score, on Match Day 7.

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