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Kano Pillars v Enyimba prediction, preview, team news and more | NPFL 2019-20

Ume Elvis
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 09 Jan 2020, 13:42 IST

Kano Pillars would host Enyimba at the Sani Abacha Stadium
Kano Pillars would host Enyimba at the Sani Abacha Stadium

Action will return to the top-flight of the Nigerian league, as 20 clubs battle it out for three points at 10 different match venues in the NPFL.

One of the venues wil be the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano State, with Kano Pillars hosting Enyimba of Aba in what is undoubtedly the marquee fixture of matchday 14.

With eight and four top-flight titles respectively, Enyimba and Kano Pillars are two of the most successful clubs in the history of the Nigerian league but they have found the going tough in the current campaign.

The hosts currently find themselves in 12th place with 16 points from 12 matches, while their visitors are placed two spots below with 15 points (although they have three games in hand).

In light of this, both sides would go all out to get maximum points to breathe in life to their fledgling campaign.

Kano Pillars v Enyimba Head-to-Head

As already indicated, both Enyimba and Kano Pillars are heavyweights and perennial contenders for the Nigerian Professional Football League, so it stands to reason that they are regular opponents of one another.

The two sides have met a total of 23 times, with the most recent coming in the 'Super 6' last June where Kano Pillars ran out 2-0 winners at the Agege Stadium in Lagos, although Enyimba had the last laugh by winning the league title for an unprecedented 8th time.

The two sides have been evenly matches over the years, with Enyimba having won against Pillars on 10 occasions, while Masu Gida have triumphed nine times, with four matches ending in a stalemate.

Enyimba have scored 27 goals in fixtures between the pair, while they have conceded 29 goals.

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Kano Pillars form guide: D D D W D

Enyimba form guide: L D D L W

Kano Pillars v Enyimba Team News

Things have not gone smoothly for Kano Pillars this season and coach Ibrahim Musa would be hoping for an upturn in fortunes quickly.

He would, however, be without the services of Emmanuel Anyanwu and Musa Abdullahi who are out with illness but would still have a strong squad to pick from.

Kano Pillars v Enyimba Predicted XI

Kano Pillars Predicted XI: Surajo Ayeleso, Victor Dennis, Nasiru Sani, Adashola David, Fahad Usman, Ifeanyi Nwenke, Jamil Muhammed Jamil, Auwalu Ali, Rabiu Ali, Achibi Ewenike, Nwagwa Nyima

Enyimba would likely start with Nwabali in goal and he would be shielded by Adebayo and Opara while James and Darkwah man the full-back positions.

The three-man midfield would comprise of Farouk, Ojo, and Guera, while Victor Mbaoma would lead the attack, flanked by Abdulahman and Bala.

Enyimba Predicted XI: Nwabali; James, Adebayo, Opara, Darkwah; Farouk, Ojo, Guera; AbdulRahman, Mbaoma, Bala

Kano Pillars v Enyimba Prediction

Both sides are in massive need of all three points to reignite their campaign and they would each go all out for the win.

The Sani Abacha Stadium was once a fortress that rarely fell and Pillars once famously went over nine years without defeat on the ground until that run was ended in August 2015 when they were defeated by Nassarawa United.

This season, they are yet to hit such illustrious heights and have won just two of their six home matches to date, leading to a feeling of angst and agitation among fans of Masu Gida.

The People's Elephants have also found the going tough this season and have not effectively balanced their continental duties with domestic action and they are currently on a run of five games without a win in all competitions.

Their dire performance in the 4-0 defeat to table-toppers Plateau United in Jos led to the sacking of coach Usman Abd'allah, with his assistant Fatai Osho taking temporary charge of the team.

Enyimba also find themselves in dire straits in the CAF Confederations Cup and need to start posting positive results if they are to successfully navigate from the group stage on the continent.

The two sides battled it out for league honours last season but this term has proved to be different and it is imperative that they start racking up the wins if they are to avoid slipping into a relegation dogfight.

Despite their struggles, both Kano Pillars and Enyimba are still elite clubs in Nigeria who have multiple winners in their squad who know what it takes to get the job done.

However, on the overall balance of their play this season, there is little to choose from between them and with neither side ready to lose in this clash of Titans, we could witness a stalemate in Kano.

Verdict: Kano Pillars 1-1 Enyimba

Also read: Nigerian clubs to feature in PES.

Published 09 Jan 2020, 13:42 IST
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