Halftimeng NPFL Week 25 Preview

The Nigeria Globacom Professional Football League (GPFL), continues this midweek with Matchday 25 games. The 2012/2013 season has recorded 491 goals this term and 14 away victories. Three teams are currently on the same number of points and they are ranked first, second and third on the league standings, but separated by goal difference. Enyimba International is placed on number one spot while league Champions, Kano Pillars are occupying the second position and Bayelsa United maintains the third position.

Two teams out of the three top teams will be playing at home today and that may bring a change to the log, if they bank on home advantage. The Sai Masu Gida will be hosting Bukola Saraki Boys, ABS FC, at the Sanni Abacha Stadium in Kano and Bayelsa United will be welcoming Akwa United at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenegoa. The biggest match of Week 25, will be the encounter between Warri Wolves and Aba Warriors.
Warri Wolves V Enyimba
Unarguably, this game stands out his midweek as they two teams are on terrific form. Warri Wolves managed to pick a point in Nasarawa on Sunday as hosts Nasarawa United forced them to a one-all draw. Bishop Onyeudo’s brace in the first half of Enyimba’s game against Nembe City, was all that the People’s Elephant needed to plunder Baribote Boys on Sunday in Aba.

Going into this game, both teams will definitely play their heart out. The trio of Oghenekaro Etebor, Musa Najere and Joseph Osadiaye, must take their chances. Wolves’ defence must be up and doing, to curtail Bishop, Andrew Abalogu and Sibi Gwar in attach, if they really want win this game.
Dolphins FC V Sharks
The Blue Angels will be guests of city rival, Dolphins FC, as both side lock horn in the Port Harcourt derby, at the Liberation Stadium. It’s going to be an interesting game, when Stanley Eguma-tutored side does battle with Gbenga Ogunbote’s team. Sharks FC could not defeat Dolphins Fc in the reverse fixture. The game ended in a goalless draw.

Dolphins would not want to register a back to back loss today, as they were trashed 3-0 in their last game when they played Sunshine Stars in Akure on Sunday. Sharks FC have gathered momentum recently, picking seven points from an available nine points, coupled with their 3-0 bashing of Gombe United in their last home game. Dolphins’ top scorer Fred Okwarah and Sharks Talisman Fabiyi Tayo are the two players to look out for in this cracker.


Wikki Tourists V 3SC
Having scored three goals in their last four away games, Oluyole Warriors will be looking forward to upset the hosts. It’s not going to be an easy ride for them, because the Tourists are yet to record a draw or taste defeat in their last seven home games.

3SC narrowly beat the Tourists in the reverse fixture 3-2. Gbolahun Salami, Moses Ogaga and Azeez Shobowale were on song for Shooting Stars. Both teams have played 24 games so far. Wikki Tourists are a step away from the bottom of the log with 29 points and a win for them will take them out of the relegation zone.


Kano Pillars V ABS FC
The League champions will not be taking this game lightly, with Bukola School Boys knowing fully well, that a draw may dash their hopes of retaining the league title. Although, Pillars home record is intimidating enough to scare any team, as they remain unbeaten at home for a couple of years now.

ABS on the other hand, have not been too convincing on the road recently, as they were unable to record a goal, not to talk of picking a point on away grounds, in their last three away games. However, they can still pull a surprise if the likes of Ichull Lordson, Stone Evbuomwan, Ajibola Otegbeye and a host of others, can come to the party.


Bayelsa United V Akwa United
Ladan Bosso Boys will test their might against Akwa United today. The Calabar outfit have not lost any game in their last three games and they will be relying on their in-form striker Mfon Udoh, to help them do the needful.

Bayelsa United have only lost a point at home this season – in week 20 – when they played against Dolphins Fc in Yenegoa. The game ended 2-2. They recorded an emphatic victory in their last match, taking El-Kanemi to the cleaners with a stunning 3-0 defeat. Ladan Bosso will be trusting Peter Ebimobowei and Uche Ihuarulan, who have netted 13 goals this season to get the job done for him.


Lobi Stars V Sunshine Stars
Dominic Iorfa Boys will be digging it deep in Markurdi with Akure Gunners, in a game that looks to be a do-or-die affair for the hosts. Failure to win this game will deepened their hope of retaining their league status in relegation water.

Sunshine Stars have not been too fantastic on the road this season, due to the fact that they have not drawn any game or won any in their last five trips to away grounds. Lobi on the other hand, have lost twice at home this season. Barnabas Imenger and Chimobi Nwaogu of Lobi stars and League top scorer, Dele Olorundare of Sunshine Stars, are all expected to make the difference in this encounter.


El-Kanemi V Nembe City
Both teams have played 24 games each. El-Kanemi have been putting up decent performances at home this season and have not lost at home. Nembe City won the reverse game by 2-1, courtesy of goals from Uche Ugochukwu and Tombiri Bina.


Gombe United V Heartland FC

Maurice Coreman will be putting aside his team’s poor outing in their last game, when they face Heartland FC at Pantami Stadium in Gombe. Both teams lost their last game respectively. Heartland lost 0-1 to Kwara United, while Gombe lost on the road to Sharks Fc 3-0. The Savannah Scorpions have been solid at home. The last time they lost a point at home, was in Week 15 against Lobi Stars. Heartland Fc pounced Gombe United 4-0 in the reverse fixture.
Kwara United V Rangers
Afonja Warriors will want to capitalize on their last away victory, in which they outmuscled Heartland FC on Sunday and pummelled Enugu Rangers in this encounter. The Flying Antelopes have not been too excellent on the road this season, as they have failed to nick a point in their last five away games. They defeated Kwara United in the reverse fixture by three goals to one, when Chinedu Sunday, Oghogho Odukpe and Adamu Mohammed recorded a goal each, to give Rangers the maximum points.
Kaduna United vs Nasarawa United
The Crocodiles will welcome the Solid Miners at the Kaduna Township stadium today. Nasarawa United beat the hosts in Week 5 3-1, but they seem to have lost the cutting edge, as they have been struggling both at home and away since the beginning of the second stanza.

Kaduna United have won all their home games in the second stanza. Going into this game, Nasarawa United will pay through their nose, if they want to return home to a point.




The author is Wale Quadry; Twitter: @quadry

Adeyemi Adesanya
Sports Business Consultant and Football Intermediary; Risk Management & Due Diligence Consultant; Freelance Football writer & Pundit on Radio & TV and Man.Utd Fan

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