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Football | Nigeria

The Predictor - Enugu hosts the big game



It's going to be a super weekend in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) with big clashes starting from Saturday in Port Harcourt.

On Sunday, the Oriental Derby will hold in the city of Enugu and it is live on SuperSport 9 from 4pm local time (5pm CAT).

The southeast clash between Enugu Rangers and Heartland, no doubt, puts the other big matches in the background.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dolphins v Kano Pillars (Liberation Stadium)

Kano Pillars have not enjoyed their trips to Port Harcourt over the years. The champions have never won this same fixture in the last 10 years. They have lost all seven games against Dolphins in the Garden City in same period.

Dolphins will be keen to inflict another big defeat on the champions like Rangers, Enyimba and Kwara United had done in past weeks. I expect Dolphins to trip Pillars in this tie.

My prediction: 2-0

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Enugu Rangers v Heartland (Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium; live on SS9)

Certainly my pick of the day. This will be the 19th head-to-head top flight game between both clubs with Heartland having the edge of winning 10 games over Rangers' five in the previous 18 meetings.

Heartland are playing their third straight league game on the road having lost at Kano Pillars and El-Kanemi Warriors. I envisage a tight contest but the Flying Antelopes should edge this.

My prediction: 1-0

Enyimba v Sunshine Stars (Enyimba Stadium)

Two-time African champions, Enyimba were dumped 0-3 at ABS in mid-week while Sunshine Stars romped to a 3-0 win over Nasarawa United. I think Salisu Yusuf will be under self-induced pressure now that his Elephants are not trampling on their opponents as he would wish.

But going into this fixture, Enyimba have the advantage as the Akure Gunners are yet to win against them since November 2010. I'm not expecting a big margin win for the Aba club but they'll get the job done anyway.

My prediction: 1-0

Warri Wolves v 3SC (Warri City Stadium)

3SC have not beaten Wolves since May 2010 in the league and I don't think they will be able to do so in Warri this Sunday. Wolves have scored an average of two goals per home game with Oghenekaro Etebo accounting for five of those goals.

I won't put my bet on 3SC considering their poor road form in which they've managed to score just a goal and shipped in 10.

My prediction: 1-0

Nasarawa United v Sharks (Lafia Township Stadium)

The Blue Angels are on the road for the third straight league tie after back-to-back losses at Heartland and El-Kanemi. I think Sharks can pull off a result in Lafia with the stuttering home form of the Solid Miners in their last five game in which they've dropped four points.

Gbenga Ogunbote knows his team need to start winning now to climb out of the base of the standings especially as the halfway mark draws close. For me, this tie will end with a share of the points.

My prediction: 0-0

Nembe City v ABS (Samson Siasia Stadium)

This is an interesting match involving two young clubs in the NPFL. City have surprised pundits with the way they've accorded themselves in their maiden season in the top flight while ABS have equally shocked many struggling to wriggle out of the bottom four.

ABS all-time goalscorer, Abdulrahman Bashir is yet to get into the groove which points to why their season has been poor. I think Ichull Lordson, Stone Evbuomwan and Thomas Zenke among others will help ABS take a point in Yenagoa should they feature. But this should be a mind-blowing game.

My prediction: 2-2

Kaduna United v Akwa United (Kaduna Township Stadium)

It looks like the dogfight is starting quite early this season than expected as 16th-placed Akwa United go up head-to-head with Kaduna United in 17th spot. In the previous matchday, Kaduna United were a bit unfortunate to lose to Bayelsa United as they showed intent.

Yes Akwa United have impressive players in Ubong Ekpai, Nnamso Edo, Sharafa Usman and new boy, Emmanuel Enize but they've always come short in away games. I know Kaduna United's Ali Adamu and Hassan Abubakar will be buoyed for this.

My prediction: 3-1

Kwara United v Bayelsa United (Kwara State Stadium)

I think the Oriental Derby has taken the shine away from this clash of two teams in the top four. Kwara United in fourth position play hosts to third-placed Bayelsa United. Bayelsa United have a talented squad but I've not been impressed with the way they've played on the road with their legs constantly on the brake.

Kwara United, on the other hand, have been setup strongly by Samson Unuanel and with a fearless approach to games. And they're not a one-man team with the like of Dare Ojo, Adamu Yahaya, Najeem Olukokun, Ganiu Ogungbe, Bala Zakkah, Abu Azeez and captain Okechukwu Odita capable of seeing off any team.

My prediction: 2-0

Gombe United v Wikki Tourists (Pantami Stadium)

After two matches without a win in the league, Maurice Cooreman will line up his men to take out the Tourists, who have struggled this term especially on the road. Wikki in recent years really don't know how to play on the road judging by their results.

Gombe United's leading scorer, Bishop Onyeudo has been quiet in the last four games leaving goalscoring duties to the like of Asuquo Inyang (who might not feature in this game), Chijioke Chukwu and Sani Gidado. I don't think defeating Wikki will be a problem for Cooreman's team.

My prediction: 2-0

Lobi Stars v El-Kanemi Warriors (Emmanuel Atongo Stadium)

It appears the departure of David Tyavkase, Jonah Abutu and co has taken the wind out of Lobi's sail this term as they look far from the team of last season that came close to winning a double. But I don't think that will hamper Lobi from taking the points as El-Kanemi are yet to score in this corresponding fixture since 2004.

But Lobi still have Anthony Okpotu, Ezekiel Bassey, Nanen Imenger, Stephen Eze, Moses Bunde, Esosa Igbinoba, Chimaobi Nwaogu and Liberian striker, John Kollie to put the Warriors to the sword.

My prediction: 1-0

*The Predictor got seven correct results including one exact score out of eight games from the last matchday.

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