NPFL predictions: The Predictor vs Ralph Chidozie George

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This matchweek in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) will not provide us with a full cast of fixtures as four games are off the shelve. Title-holders Plateau United, Akwa United, Enyimba and MFM FC have had their matches postponed owing to CAF club competition engagements.

For this gameweek that leaves four-time winners Kano Pillars and Lobi Stars with genuine chance of taking top spot into the next matchday.

However, my matchday opponent in the prediction challenge is SuperSport commentator, NPFL pundit and sports journalist Ralph Chidozie George (RCG). RCG will put his knowledge and prediction skills to use this time away from the mic.

SUNDAY

KATSINA UNITED vs HEARTLAND

Heartland have been in wretched form of late and I really think this trip to Katsina United will be a huge demand for them. Heartland head coach Ramson Madu has been in the centre of quotes where he blamed his players for their 3-0 defeat at MFM. Now I am wondering how he will rally same players to stand up to Katsina United.

RCG already tips Heartland to fall in Katsina and I cannot agree less. Katsina United have been so strong at their Muhammadu Dikko Stadium. I will put my one naira on Abdullahi Biffo’s men to win this and extend their run of clean sheets at home to five matches.

The Predictor’s prediction: 3-0

RCG’s prediction: 2-0

NASARAWA UNITED vs LOBI STARS

With every matchday, Lobi’s confidence levels keep growing. Whatever Solomon Ogbeide has done to his playing personnel, I think, has worked magic with the like of Samad Kadiri, Solomon Kwambe, Ebube Duru and even the experienced David Tyavkase all upping their performances.

This is the slowest start to a season I have seen Nasarawa United in recent years. Usually they turn the corner once the campaign crosses the first quarter. Yes Kabiru Balogun, Abubakar Abdullahi and Najeem Olukokun have been superb but not the Solid Miners. I think Lobi have have a chance of grinding out a result though RCG thinks otherwise.

The Predictor’s prediction: 1-1

RCG’s prediction: 2-1

ABIA WARRIORS vs WIKKI TOURISTS

Abia Warriors will look to sew up three unbeaten sequence for the first time since August last year when they went on a five-match streak with no defeats. But the Umuahia club know that they have only managed just a win against Wikki in all of their six previous meetings though I expect Ndifreke Effiong and Samson Obi to influence things for them this time.

RCG had handed Abia Warriors the advantage to win this. Of course Abia Warriors are my favourites to take the full points as Wikki have barely done anything on the road this season despite the fine form of Nafiu Bala Kabuga whose pace tore apart Rivers United last matchday leading to his hat-trick.

The Predictor’s prediction: 1-0

RCG’s prediction: 2-0

EL-KANEMI WARRIORS vs FC IFEANYIUBAH

RCG is not expecting a big margin scoreline in this match-up but gives it to El-Kanemi. RCG explains: “El-Kanemi have not been scoring goals by the bucketload recently so it shouldn’t be a big scoreline.” I agree with him. At the same time, El-Kanemi are also not shutting out teams like they did in the past when they visit Maiduguri.

Imama Amapakabo’s men sure do look good to claim the full points but I expect former El-Kanemi manager Ladan Bosso to set up his men to ruffle feathers against the team of his previous employers though it will not earn his team a result.

The Predictor’s prediction: 1-0

RCG’s prediction: 1-0

SUNSHINE STARS vs YOBE DESERT STARS

Sunshine Stars once again were neck deep in another palaver during week following what they termed an order for their head coach Duke Udi to “step aside.” Well we know what that means in Nigerian parlance to a coach. But their caretaker coach Henry Abiodun is already talking and has assured they “will be striving for another three points.” I do not doubt that as the players will want to improve their new trainer.

Yobe Stars keep punching above their weights and start this game in fourth place after last weekend’s 2-0 win over Kano Pillars. So the Akure Gunners know what to expect from a team handled by a former NPFL winner Mohammed Baba Ganaru. It is not going to be a stroll for the Akure Gunners but they will get the job done. RCG also believes so.

The Predictor’s prediction: 2-1

RCG’s prediction: 2-0

MONDAY

KANO PILLARS vs NIGER TORNADOES

Monday games are now becoming a ritual in the top division this season. It was a disappointing out last time for Kano Pillars at Yobe Stars with many attributing it to the absence of Junior Lokosa. The striker has now recoverd from his illness and should be available I learnt.

Tornadoes defender Reuben Ogbonnaya returns to Kano once again after his stint with them two seasons ago. But will it be a return to savour? I do not think so because Ibrahim Musa’s men will be out to make a statement after the loss at Yobe Stars last weekend. RCG has forecasted a big scoreline win for Pillars.

The Predictor’s prediction: 2-0

RCG’s prediction: 3-0

• It was an improved performance from The Predictor who got FIVE correct results including THREE perfect scores (which attracts two points per perfect score) out of the 10 games in the previous matchday to finish with EIGHT points. Ojeikere Aikhoje last matchweek’s guest got SEVEN points from SIX correct results including ONE exact score.

© The Predictor

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