Matchday 16 of the 2016/2017 Nigerian Professional Football League returns to Ibadan on Wednesday the 29th of March 2017, Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan will face El Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri at the Lekan Salami Stadium Adamasingba. 3SC will hope to bounce back from their 0-1 defeat away to Nassarawa United on Matchday 15, a match which represented a step back for the Oluyole Warlords after the club ended a run of games without victory with a dramatic 1-0 Matchday 14 win over league defending champions Rangers International of Enugu.
They will certainly find their Borno-based opponents to be a handful as the Warriors are flying high this season, El Kanemi are perched in third place with 27 points, the same number of points and the same goal difference (6) as 2nd placed MFM Football Club of Lagos and 3 points ahead of their nearest Challengers Niger Tornadoes. The Warriors will also be buoyed by their Matchday 15 win over Lobi Stars in Maiduguri as they hope to inflict the first home defeat of the season on 3SC who, in spite of the fact that they have found wins hard to come by in the league, are yet to lose a home match this season.
The Ibadan team would be hoping that their home form would help them get a victory on Wednesday, but there is cause for worry for the Fatai Amoo led side. Shooting Stars are having a terrible season and they have found wins hard to come by in the NPFL so far. Their terrible run of form so far sees then dangling precariously in 15th place, with 16 points one point behind Ifeanyi Ubah who have played a game less, the three sides directly below them all have outstanding games, and Rivers United in 19th place are only 2 points behind 3SC despite having played three games less, which means unless results begin to go their way, the Ibadan team could find themselves dropping as low as 19th place at some point this season.
In addition to their lack of wins, Shooting Stars are also finding goals hard to come by as well. They have only scored 3 goals in their last 5 games and have failed to score in 3 of their last 6. El Kanemi on the other hand, have had better luck finding the back of the net with 8 goals in 5 games. However, most of these goals have come at home, with the 2 goals in the 2-3 loss Ifeanyi Ubah FC being something of a flattering result for a team that doesn’t score much away.
The match should be interesting and full of action but it is unlikely that goals will flow. El Kanemi might point to their good away record and believe they can inflict a home defeat on the Oluyole Warlords, but the other top sides have all failed to beat 3SC this season with both Plateau United and MFM going away from the Lekan Salami stadium with 1-1 draws. I think this match will also go the same route with El Kanemi having to be content with a share of the points.
Prediction: 3SC 1 El Kanemi Warriors 1
TEAM FORM (LAST 5 GAMES)
3SC: L W D D D
EL KANEMI: W L W L W
3SC VS El KANEMI HEAD TO HEAD (LAST 4 GAMES)
3SC WINS: 1
EL KANEMI WINS: 2
WHAT THEY SAID
We must put the Nassarawa United defeat behind us and face the task ahead on Wednesday with El Kanemi Warriors –
Fatai Amoo, 3SC Head Coach
“All we need to do is to stay focused and have a determined mindset towards achieving our objectives. I trust this squad to continue posting interesting results as the season continues to hot up”-
Samuel Mathias, El Kanemi Warriors striker