Sunshine Stars v Kano Pillars preview, prediction, playing 11, team news and more | NPFL 2019/2020

Sunshine Stars would trade tackles with Kano Pillars in the NPFL
Sunshine Stars would trade tackles with Kano Pillars in the NPFL

The Akure Township Stadium in Ondo would be set alight as Sunshine Stars play host to Kano Pillars in a matchday 17 NPFL fixture.

Sunshine Stars have been in the high-flying form of late and are on a run of four matches without defeat that has propelled them up to fourth on the table and they would seek to keep this run going by picking up all three points against Pillars to consolidate their title charge.

The visitors have flattered to deceive this season and find themselves in the unfamiliar position of 12th, with 20 points picked up from 14 matches.

Sunshine Stars vs Kano Pillars Head-to-Head

Both Sunshine Stars and Kano Pillars are relatively established sides in the Nigerian top-flight and as such, they have been regular opponents over the years.

The two clubs have met on 22 occasions in the past, with Kano Pillars having just a slight edge with 10 wins, while Sunshine Stars have won nine matches in the past, with three games including their latest fixture having ended in a stalemate.

Although Sunshine Stars have scored more goals, scoring 24 goals in matches between the pair while Kano Pillars have found the back of the net on 21 occasions.

Total meetings: 22 Sunshine Stars wins: 9, Draws: 3, Kano Pillars wins: 10

Sunshine Stars form guide: D W W W L

Kano Pillars form guide: W D D D D

Sunshine Stars v Kano Pillars Team News and Predicted XI

Sunshine Stars lost the services of Israel Abia who was transferred to Enugu Rangers last week, while Otegbeye Ajiboye and Chigozie Obasi have also been released from their contracts having failed to convince the club's board.

Tope Akande also got injured in the goalless draw with Kwara United in midweek and his place in the team is likely to be taken by Alimi Jamiu.

Ojo Olorunkule would man the post for the home side and he would be protected by a back four comprising of Akobundu, Akpojubweuvwo, Alimi Jamiu, and team captain Seun Olulayo.

In midfield, Jide Fatokun would partner Houdini and Ogunniyi, while Anthony Omaka would be the team's creative outlet from the middle. Upfront, Wasiu Jimoh would lead the line and he would be complemented by Yusuf.

Sunshine Stars predicted XI: Ojo, Akonundu, Seun Olulayo, Akpojubweuvwo, Alimi Jamiu; Jide Fatokun, Anthony Omaka, Houdini, Ogunniyi; Wasiu Jimoh, Yusuf

For Kano Pillars, Head Coach Ibrahim A Musa has the complement of a fully fit squad he would likely field his strongest team against the Sunshine Stars, with veteran midfielder and captain Rabiu Alli charged with providing the creativity on the field.

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

Sunshine Stars v Kano Pillars Prediction

The hosts come into this fixture in fine form and saw their run of three consecutive wins end when they posted a goalless stalemate at home against Kwara United last time out.

Sunshine Stars currently occupy 4th spot, just two points behind table-toppers Plateau United and they would be keen to close that gap and take advantage of any potential slip-ups by picking up all three points in front of their fans.

Kano Pillars are also on a five-game unbeaten run, but unlike Stars, the first four in their sequence ended in draws which was rather disappointing for a club the size of Kano Pillars.

The Masu Gida are a regular fixture in the upper echelons of the table and were one of the most successful clubs of the last decade but they have found the going tough this season.

Pillars, however, showed great determination to pick up a 2-0 home win over the in-form Akwa United and they would fancy their chances of stopping another high-flying side.

Sunshine Stars are yet to taste defeat at home in the league and have picked up 18 points from their eight matches at the Akure Township Stadium, with five wings and three draws recorded.

Kano Pillars themselves have not been entirely convincing on the road, although it should be noted that they have lost just one of their eight fixtures so far, winning one and drawing the other five.

Indeed, the Kano side have been something of a draw specialist this season, eight of their 14 league matches having seen both sides share the spoils and their away form coupled with the tight record in matches between both sides means that the game could end in another draw.

Verdict: Sunshine Stars 1-1 Kano Pillars

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Edited by Zaid Khan
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