Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Predictor captures top-of-table clash

The Predictor ©Naija Ligue
It's Match Day 7 in the Glo Premier League. No derbies. No Friday games. No double-headers. No early kick-offs. But there will be a top-of-the-table clash between surprise leaders Akwa United and defending champions Kano Pillars.
The other big game of Match Day 7 is live on SuperSport 9 from the oil city of Warri. The game between Bayelsa United and Enyimba earlier billed for Friday has been postponed owing to the former's engagement in the Caf Confederation Cup playoff this Sunday.

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Akwa United v Kano Pillars (Uyo Township Stadium)
This is my pick of this match day as table-topping Akwa United play hosts to third-placed Kano Pillars in a top-of-the-table clash. United just had their unbeaten start to the season snapped at Enyimba while Pillars have put up a streak of no losses in their four league matches.

Pillars will be buoyed by the fact that they've won twice in their last four trips to Uyo. I sense the champions will put the spanner in the works of The Promise Keepers in this game.

My prediction: 0-1

Warri Wolves v Enugu Rangers (Warri City Stadium; live on SS9)
Wolves have been very mean customers to Rangers since 2009, which was the last time the Enugu club won in the Premier League against their Warri counterparts. Rangers will try to end an eight-game run without a win over Wolves but I'm sceptical the Flying Antelopes can win in Warri although they earned a point at Dolphins last weekend.

Wolves will no doubt miss Michael Egbeta, who is suspended and could well be without Josiah Maduabuchi, who is doubtful after suffering a thigh injury in their last match at Sunshine Stars. Still, I'd back Wolves to win this by the odd goal as they've done in the last three corresponding fixtures.

My prediction: 1-0

Sharks v Nasarawa United (Sharks Stadium)
For me, the Sharks look poised to claim their third win of the campaign. No disrespect to Nasarawa United who played their hearts out to earn a point at Heartland in their last road trip.

Sharks head coach Gbenga Ogunbote is certain to field his strongest squad to include the impressive Kelly Kester and Joseph Nathaniel in midfield. I don't expect Sharks to falter but they should be prepared to work their socks off for a win.

My prediction: 1-0

Sunday, April 20, 2014
FC Taraba v Giwa FC (Jolly Nyame Stadium)
It's a clash of the new boys in the town of Jalingo this Sunday. Giwa FC stunned many of us in mid-week when they got a point at Dolphins. FC Taraba won this game last season through Ibrahim Sanusi Sisi's winner in the second tier and I'm backing them to replicate the same result again this time.

My prediction: 1-0

Crown FC v Kaduna United (Lekan Salami Stadium)
It seems Crown FC are just content with focusing on their home matches alone. They've kept a 100 per cent home record so far but I fear they'll suffer a blip at some point this term. As for Kaduna United, their streak of poor results on road trips still hangs over their heads from last season.

Raji Abdullateef should start in goal for Crown FC in the absence of injured Michael Uweru. As for the Crocodiles, they have not impressed me on their road trips though Isah Aminu has been their brightest star so far. Crown would claim the full points.

My prediction: 2-1

Gombe United v Dolphins (Pantami Stadium)
Dolphins face a difficult trip to the north-east where they've come up short in eight trips in the last 10 years. Dolphins have a combined form of no wins and losses in their last three games going into this contest.

Though Gombe United start this match day a point and a position over the bottom four, they'll be too fired up to drop points against Dolphins. It's going to be a tough ask for Stanley Eguma's Dolphins.

My prediction: 1-0

Lobi Stars v Nembe City (Emmanuel Atongo Stadium)
After getting their first point this season against Warri Wolves on Wednesday, City will feel they've turned the corner but I don't think so yet. Lobi have been water-tight at the back in their home matches so far and I wonder where City's goals will come from since none of their outfield players have scored in 360 minutes of football.

Lobi Stars have got some good players like Philip Asuquo, Stephen Eze, Terkaa Melai, Douglas Archiv and Nanen Imenger. Evans Ogenyi's men should return to winning ways this Sunday.

My prediction: 2-0

Heartland v El-Kanemi Warriors (Dan Anyiam Stadium)
Heartland have endured one of their worst starts to the top flight in years. They're without a win in their opening six matches. But I think they'll be re-energised by their 1-1 draw at Kaduna United last weekend. They'll have to be at their best against the Warriors who have not lost in their last four matches.

It's still early days to believe that things have turned around for Heartland just yet. I expect Kelechi Emeteole to rally his troops to a first win of this season's campaign but I sense a nervy finish for the hosts in this match.

My prediction: 2-1

Abia Warriors v Sunshine Stars (Umuahia Township Stadium)
Abia Warriors surely need to be wary of going gung ho on Sunshine Stars, who are beginning to show they can hurt any team by switching from defensive to offensive mode. Cletus Itodo is one man who knows the Stars well having previously played for them. He will, apart from dropping hints on his former club to his teammates, be buoyed to perform.

The Akure Gunners sure do have their own stars in Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Ebenezer Odunlami, Ikenna Hillary Paul, Dele Olorundare, Tamen Medrano and their leading scorer, Kingsley Eduwo. This clash will end in the teams sharing the spoils.

My prediction: 0-0

•The Predictor got six match results correctly last week, including three exact scores.

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