PREVIEW: NWPL MATCHDAY 13
All is set for match day 13 to be honored. Almost all the matches on Wednesday are dicey and it is very difficult to pick the toughest.
All the seven matches are deciders on their own; a slip may cause a club the top spot and a loss may drop a club into the relegation zone.
Group A looks settled with Rivers Angels and Bayelsa Queens already confirmed to finish in the top two cadre.
Sunshine Queens vs Rivers Angels
Sunshine Queens’ third position is under siege as they prepare to take on Group A leaders Rivers Angels at the Akure Township Stadium.
Rivers Angels have 22 points while Sunshine Queens are eight points adrift the Port Harcourt side.
The Owena Mermaids are yet to lose a home game and nothing shows any of the clubs have got the antidote against them at home.
It will be a great achievement if Rivers Angels earn a positive result, considering the fact the Akure isn’t a good hunting ground for them.
The last three games between the two sides at the Akure Township Stadium ended in favour of Sunshine Queens.
The homers have all the ammunition to help them carry the day but the visitors can surprise them if they lose concentration and become complacent in the course of the match.
Heartland Queens vs Bayelsa Queens
Heartland Queens have a home assignment against Bayelsa Queens at the Federal Polytechnic Pitch, Nekede.
The Owerri side, who are at the foot of the Group A standings, have been left with no choice than to win all their remaining matches in order to beat the drop.
The Restoration Girls, who are second on the log with 22 point from 10 games will test the might of the Owerri outfit to see if they can add to their woes.
It is a must win for Heartland Queens if they still have plans of staying afloat in the league.
Abia Angels vs Ibom Angels
Abia Angels have got another chance to keep their chances of survival intact. They take on Ibom Angels at the Umuahia Township Stadium in a crunch encounter.
Ibom Angels would be looking forward to end the league campaign in third place as well as appease their teeming fans.
The two teams look likely to cancel each other out in the cracker.
With two games to the end of the 2016/17 Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL) season and no dominant team at the helm of the Group B, the chase for the two slots for Super Four looks likely to go down the wire for a photo finish.
All the top four clubs have equal opportunity and the vying clubs are battle ready.
Nasarawa Amazons (22 points) and Delta Queens (22 points) are under pressure to maintain their positions as Adamawa Queens (20 points) and Osun Babes (20 points) continue to pile more pressure on both teams.
With two games to go, none of the top four clubs has stuck its neck out clearly for Super Four and it looks like any of the above clubs can win it considering the point gap between the top four clubs.
Pelican Stars vs Nasarawa Amazons
Group A leaders, Nasarawa Amazons can firm their grip at the top if they humble troublesome Pelican Stars at the UJ Esuene Stadium.
The Amazons will seal qualification for Super Four if their rivals Delta Queens, Adamawa Queens and Osun Babes falters.
Seven-time league champions, Pelican Stars will also like to prove a point that they are no pushovers. They would give the away side a tough time.
Blessing Edoho, Alex Faith, Aminat Waheed, Moses Pato, Anam Imo, Josephine Mathias, Amarachi Okoronkwo and Joke Ejalonibu are expected to shine in the game billed for the U.J. Esuene Stadium.
Adamawa Queens vs Delta Queens
Another cagey encounter of similar fate is the match involving Adamawa Queens and Delta Queens at the Atiku Abubakar Stadium in Fufore.
Adamawa Queens are in third spot with 20 points with one game in hand, while Delta Queens lie in second position with 22 points.
This means that a win for the Yola team will spell doom for Delta Queens, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Pelican Stars in a week 12 game in Kwale.
Coach Bello Mohammed should unleash the deadly quartet of Regina Omede, Wachukwu Oluchi, Doshinma Tarnu and Stella Nwadike upfront as he bids to claim the three points.
Delta Queens gaffer Clifford Chukwuma will be relying on the experience of Joy Jegede, Ijeoma Obi, Lilian Cole and Rosemary Okezie for the tough task.
Saadatu Amazons vs Confluence Queens
Saadatu Amazons and Confluence Queens would lock horns at the College of Education in Minna.
The Allah Mai Ikoh Girls, who are already preparing for life in the Pro League will certainly want to give their fans something to cheer by picking the maximum points at stake.
Confluence Queens won for the first time in the second round at home to Edo Queens last midweek and winning the match in Minna is crucial as they bid to end the season on a high.
It will take greater work from Saadatu to gain a point in Minna. The New Direction Queens look set to enrich themselves with the three available points.
Osun Babes vs Edo Queens
Coach Liadi Bashiru will be leading Osun Babes against Edo Queens in Oshogbo. Laidi has already declared the game a must-win as the final two matches leave him with no room for mistakes.
Following the slim 1-0 loss to Confluence Queens in Lokoja, Edo Queens who won the reverse fixture 1-0 thanks to Regina Otu’s spot kick, will hopefully think of completing a double over Osun Babes.
But Osun Babes have different ideas. It is a must win for the Omoluabi Queens to enhance their Super Four hopes. If they are defeated by the Benin-City Girls the battle would virtually be over for them.
It will however be a surprise to many if Osun Babes surrenders to Edo Queens at the Oshogbo Township Stadium.