WIKKI TOURISTS VS BENDEL INSURANCE
Wikki Tourists have another opportunity to redeem their image when they host Bendel Insurance in a must-win home tie slated for the Pantami Stadium, Gombe.
Despite playing three games already this season the Giant Elephants are languishing in 11th spot in the NPFL Group A with only three points and after losing at home to Sunshine Stars in their last fixture Aliyu Zubairu and his players are under immense pressure to return to winning ways or risk imminent shake-up in the technical crew. They are up against Bendel Insurance who have played three games also this season but are yet to lose any.
Bendel Insurance are enjoying their spell in the top-flight after 11 years of their stay in the lower league. They have played just a game at home while honouring the other two away against Remo Stars and Niger Tornadoes where they picked valuable points. They are involved in their third away game of the season and Monday Odigie and his men must be hard as steel if they are to get anything out of the encounter with the current position of their hosts in the league table.
ENUGU RANGERS VS NIGER TORNADOES
Enugu Rangers will have a dress rehearsal to their Sunday’s Caf Confederation Cup group stage tie against Salitas with a home fixture against Niger Tornadoes on Wednesday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.
They picked important three points against Enyimba last Sunday in the Oriental derby decided in Enugu and Gbenga Ogunbote’s decision to rest some of his key players for their away tie with MFM which they lost 1-0 was justified. They are in serious need of the valuable points against Ikon Allah Boys to show their Burkina Faso opponents that they are ready for life in the group stage of the second-tier club competition. They are ninth in the NPFL Group A with three points from two games.
It is a positive result or nothing for Bernard Ogbe and his players in Enugu on Wednesday with the five-game ultimatums starting from their duel with the Flying Antelopes. Tornadoes have been poor in the top-flight this season having drawn three home games out of the four that they have played.
It is unknown if the Niger State Government will be patient enough for Ogbe to see through the five games grace he has been given if Tornadoes stumble against Rangers on Wednesday. Tornadoes are10th in the league log with three points from four games and their rescheduled Matchday One fixture with the Flying Antelopes could be very crucial to the continuous stay of the technical crew and even the management of the club.
RIVERS UNITED VS REMO STARS
Rivers United have had an impressive start to the 2019 season, unlike the last two seasons where they struggled to get positive away results. They have gone on three games unbeaten including negotiating away points against Sunshine Stars and Niger Tornadoes in Akure and Minna respectively.
They were fortunate to earn their first home win against MFM last Sunday after Austin Opara scored an own goal in his desperation to stop Wasiu Jimoh’s cross from creating havoc in the Olukoya Boys’ vital area. They will face Remo Stars who are yet to suffer a defeat also after three games and it will be a battle royale in Port Harcourt on Wednesday for the hosts to secure the maximum points knowing that it will take them to the top of the NPFL Group A. They are presently third in the group with five points from three matches.
Remo Stars have not felt the impact of their former coach, Fatai Osho who left the saddle few days to the start of the season because of the management decision to hire Kennedy Boboye who is to boss him. The Sky Blue Stars are riding high in the second spot after three games with five points. They didn’t start the season very well after Bendel Insurance held them to a 1-1 draw in Sagamu but they rebound in their next game when they picked an away draw in Minna against Tornadoes.
They grabbed their first win of the season against Katsina United whom they thrashed 2-0 in Osogbo their new home where they are to still prosecute their next two home games because of the unruly behaviour of their fans in their first game of the season in Sagamu against Bendel Insurance. They must secure at least a draw in Port Harcourt to jump to the leadership of Group A at the expense of their hosts.
YOBE DESERT STARS VS GOMBE UNITED
Yobe Desert Stars will have the chance to leave the relegation zone for good if they are able to secure their second consecutive home win against Gombe United on Wednesday at the 27th August Stadium, Damaturu.
They pipped Heartland 1-0 to inflict the second loss of the season to the Naze Millionaires after James Odey struck 25 minutes from time to the delight of their fans. Ngozi Elechi’s men are currently 10th in the NPFL Group B with three points from two games and another win in Damaturu could take them to fifth.
Gombe United secured important away point in Umuahia against Abia Warriors on Sunday before proceeding to Damaturu for their midweek battle with Yobe Desert Stars. They had to play their best game of the season thus far to earn their first away point of the season and after only arriving Yobe State at midday on Tuesday since Sunday evening that they left Umuahia.
It will be a tough call for Ladan Bosso’s men for them to grab another away point with the journey they have embarked upon. They have the financial support of the Gombe government and that could be the morale booster as they strive to move up the ladder more than their present eighth spot with four points from three games.
GO ROUND VS KADA CITY
Go Round will fancy the chance of usurping Heartland to the second position if they make their home advantage count against hurting Kada City on Thursday at the Krisdera Hotel Stadium, Omoku.
Willy Udube’s men pipped El Kanemi Warriors 1-0 only a Monday and a second home win of the season against Usman Adams’ men will set the tone for them ahead of their blockbuster weekend tie with Akwa United in Uyo. They have made significant improvement from their debut campaign in the elite division last season where they had inconsistent performances.
With the surprise away win in Umuahia against Abia Warriors they are now capable of anything as they are up against premier league debutants on Thursday. They are currently fourth in Group B with seven points from four matches but a home win against Kada City will take them to the second spot.
Kada City were unfortunate to lose their last two matches against Abia Warriors (away) and FC IfeanyiUbah (home) with the way they played in both games. They are having a reality check and must re-examine themselves knowing that playing in the lower league and the top-flight are two different things.
They will definitely face Go Round with anger to ensure that they gain at least a point to atone for their last two losses. They are 11th in the league table with just three points from three games and another defeat won’t do their confidence level any good.