Friday, April 11, 2014

The Predictor anticipates thriller in Kano

This Sunday the second double-header of the season in the Glo Premier League will take place and this promises to be a thrilling in every way considering the huge fan base in Kano as both games will be live on SuperSport starting from 2pm Nigerian time (3pm CAT).

There will also be the Bayelsa derby while Kaduna will play host to the first of three live Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matches expected to go up on your World of Champions this weekend.

Saturday, April 12, 2014
Kaduna United v Heartland (Ahmadu Bello Stadium; live on SS9)

It's been a poor start for Heartland this term. After five games they're yet to pick a win as they head to Kaduna where they've only managed to take a point in their last seven visits. The Crocodiles have won their last two home games against FC Taraba and Bayelsa United.

Isah Aminu has been in the thick of things for United in both home wins and have scored three goals in both games. It appears Heartland are yet to get in the groove for the season. I'll say Kaduna United will nick it.

My prediction: 1-0

Dolphins v Enugu Rangers (Liberation Stadium)

Both sides come into this game with identical form guide in their last three league matches with one win, one draw and a loss each. The last time Rangers claimed full points in this fixture was in March 2003 when they won by a goal and they went on to do the double on Dolphins that year.

Rangers are among the top 10 but their form on the road has been poor. Dolphins will hope their strikers, Ifeanyi Egwim and Fred Okwara will be fit for this game. But their centre-back, Hope Fiberesima will return from suspension to bolster their back line. This is a tough game for Rangers and I fancy Dolphins to shake off the news of their planned strike over financial issues during the week to win this.

My prediction: 1-0

Sunday, April 13, 2014
El-Kanemi Warriors v Lobi Stars (Kano Pillars Stadium; live on SS Select 2)

It's been seven years since Lobi won a league game against the Warriors. Lobi have a poor away record of two losses this term and another two away losses in their last two away games last season.

Lobi have the like of Philip Asuquo, Ukeyima Akombo, Moses Bunde and Stephen Eze, and I'm backing them against the Warriors to win this Sunday. El-Kanemi are without their Chadian striker, Hassan Hissein who is on international duty.

My prediction: 1-2

Kano Pillars v FC Taraba (Kano Pillars Stadium; SS Select)

FC Taraba have surprisingly found themselves in the top-two so early in the season but that is thanks to their home form. Defending champions, Pillars, have been able to string up three unbeaten run including draws at Abia Warriors and Giwa FC.

Ndubuisi Nduka will be happy to name Luter Iyorhe in his squad after he missed the Enyimba game due to a thigh injury. Pillars will be without suspended striker Kabiru Umar but that won't stop Okey Emordi's men from winning this game though I feel they'll be made to work for it.

My prediction: 2-1

Gombe United v Sharks (Pantami Stadium)

Sharks have never won at Gombe United in the Premier League era. In their last two visits to Gombe, the Blue Angels conceded seven goals. But those stats only count on paper, as the Savannah Scorpions will surely face a side that are unbeaten in four league matches.

Gombe United have been strong at home. Sharks are having an excellent run this season so far but I'm not sure they'll leave Gombe unscathed.

My prediction: 1-0

Nembe City v Bayelsa United (Krisdera Hotel Stadium)

This is the first instalment of the Bayelsa derby this term and City go into this clash on the back of two losses on the road and have conceded five, scoring none. United have had quite an impressive run in all competitions since Richard Bubagha took charge as head coach in the wake of Ladan Bosso's departure.

Last season, it was Arinze Obioma's strike that helped City win this derby. I think Nembe City will give their best shot in this game to claim their first win of the season. But it would be by the odd goal.

My prediction: 1-0

Sunshine Stars v Warri Wolves (Akure Township Stadium)

Sunshine Stars came close to winning their first game at Rangers last week but were glad to take a point away. The Akure Gunners will be concerned that they're yet to defeat Wolves in the last two meetings of this fixtures - both games ending 1-1.

Paul Onobi is still out on the sidelines for the Stars and Ikechukwu Ibenegbu is still a doubt for Wolves following an ankle injury. But Ike ThankGod should return to the Wolves squad. It's going to be a tight contest in Akure but I think Henry Abiodun's team can win this once they sort out their goalscoring problems.

My prediction: 2-0

Giwa FC v Abia Warriors (Rwang Pam Stadium)

This is a clash debutants in the premier division. Abia Warriors are in the top-10 and Giwa FC are in the bottom half. Once again I'm expecting the stadium in Jos to be packed for this evenly poised clash.

In November, both sides clashed in the Nigeria National League (NNL) Super Four. That game ended 1-1 before Giwa FC won 5-4 on penalties to be crowned champions of the second tier. I think Giwa FC and Abia Warriors will share points.

My prediction: 0-0

Enyimba v Akwa United (Enyimba Stadium)

Two-time African champions, Enyimba, have had one of their worst starts in the Premier League era. Table-topping Akwa United are in the in-form team and are unbeaten with the longest streak of five games so far.

Last season, it was Emeka Nwanna's goal that ensured Enyimba claimed all points in this same fixture. I'm going for the People's Elephant to end Akwa United's unbeaten run in spite of their coaching problems that has seen Zachary Baraje being told to step aside by the club chairman, Felix Anyansi Agwu.

My prediction: 2-0

Nasarawa United v Crown FC (Lafia Township Stadium)

Lawrence Akpokona's Crown FC are in the top-four against all odds but their form on the road has seen them lose twice at Lobi Stars and Sharks, conceding four goals. Nasarawa United are still grappling to get over their goalscoring problem since the departure of Victor Namo to Libya.

Crown will be without one of their key man, Francis Nnedum, who is down with fever. Mohammed Baba Ganaru's men should win this contest just by the odd goal.

My prediction: 1-0

•The Predictor did just enough to come up with five correct results out of nine games concluded on Match Day 5 including four perfect scores.

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