NWPL Matchday 9 Preview: Former Super Falcons coaches lock horns in Port Harcourt

Matchday 9 is upon us in the Nigeria Women Premier League as the race for the season-ending Super Four gets more intense, and 14 teams will be in action across seven match centres in two days starting from tomorrow.

Inactive Bayelsa Queens will most likely kiss the top of Group A goodbye by the end of this Matchday with Rivers Angels and FC Robo Queens breathing down their neck.

Let’s now take a peek into what to expect from Matchday 9.

GROUP A

Rivers Angels (2nd) vs Heartland Queens (5th)

Rivers Angels have made the Yakubu Gowon Stadium their fortress such that it’s hard to even score them on that turf. Though the last team that visited, Bayelsa Queens succeeded in breaching it, Heartland Queens are still expected to have a really hard time facing the defending champions.

The Owerri-based side are seen as the weakest team in the group hence there is no doubting that they have an upset up their sleeves in spite of having an abysmal run on the road. They have conceded eight goals in their three away matches thus far, scoring none. However, new coach Eucharia Uche, would be looking to change that as her first target is to ensure that the newly promoted side avoid relegation.

Uche, a former coach of the Senior Women’s National Team (the Super Falcons) will go head to head with another former Super Falcons gaffer in Edwin Okon who is in charge of the Jewel of Rivers – as Rivers Angels are fondly called.

Reverse fixture: Heartland Queens 1-1 Rivers Angels

FORM GUIDE (Last five games):

Rivers Angels: DWDWL

Heartland Queens: LDDLW

 

Ibom Angels (6th) vs Sunshine Queens (4th)

Coach Whyte Ogbonda may have given up on a place in the Super Four, but he would definitely want to lead his Ibom Angels team to a respectable position in Group A by the end of the regular season. He had hoped they could start winning away matches in the second stanza of the season, but last week they couldn’t leap past their first hurdle which was Heartland Queens.

If Ibom Angels are to rely on their home matches, then they cannot afford to draw or lose anymore at the Itam Sports Complex having already dropped two points in the first stanza of the season.

Coach Wemimo Matthew’s Sunshine Queens are another team that are deficient on the road and they head to Uyo in search of their first away point(s).

Reverse fixture: Sunshine Queens 2-1 Ibom Angels

FORM GUIDE (Last five games):

Ibom Angels: LWLWL

Sunshine Queens: DLWLW

 

FC Robo Queens (3rd) vs Abia Angels (7th)

After their heartbreaking loss to Sunshine Queens in Akure last week, a recharged FC Robo Queens are back home – where they have remained unbeaten – to welcome Abia Angels.

It’s been close to two months since Abia Angels last played a game on May 3rd and so they have enjoyed more break than any other team which might be to their disadvantage. Because of the schedule, they didn’t play on Matchday 7 and 8, now the bottom-placed side have a lot of catching up to do. But can the bad travellers secure any point from this trip to Lagos?

Reverse fixture: Abia Angels 1-1 FC Robo Queens

FORM GUIDE (Last five games):

FC Robo Queens: LWDWL

Abia Angels: WLDLL

  

GROUP B

Confluence Queens (2nd) vs Delta Queens (5th)

The last time these two met, they shared the spoils. It was on Matchday 1 and still early days. But now the heat has been turned up and both sides are desperate for a win.

Confluence Queens would want to appease their fans at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja considering they dropped two points in their last home game which was against Adamawa Queens and fans favourite Ifeoma Polinus would relish adding to her goals tally of three.

Meanwhile Delta Queens – with a rock in their captain Joy Jegede – would fancy their chances of picking a point at least from Lokoja. They succeeded in Benin (against Edo Queens) and Calabar (against Pelican Stars).

Reverse fixture: Delta Queens 0-0 Confluence Queens

FORM GUIDE (Last five games):

Delta Queens: DWLLW

Confluence Queens: LWWDL

 

Sa’adatu Amazons (8th) vs Pelican Stars (7th)

Hapless Sa’adatu Amazons are at home to fellow relegation battlers, Pelican Stars. For the Minna-based side, it’s quite easy to predict their matches because of how woeful they have been, so their visitors could be sure of not going back empty handed.

A win for Sa’adatu would definitely be a shocker.

Reverse fixture: Pelican Stars 1-0 Sa’adatu Amazons

FORM GUIDE (Last five games):

Sa’adatu Amazons: LLDLL

Pelican Stars: DLLDW

 

Osun Babes (3rd) vs Nasarawa Amazons (1st)

While Osun Babes are playing their second home game in a row, Nasarawa Amazons are playing their second away game in a row with both teams looking to avoid a loss.

Osun Babes are looking to continue from where they stopped against Sa’adatu Amazons last week as they thrilled their fans to a goals fest, but their opponents boast of the best defence so far this season having conceded the least number of goals (4).

Meanwhile Nasarawa Amazons would not want to lose the top spot they have held onto since Matchday 4, and suffering a loss at the hands of their hosts on Thursday could mean that.

Reverse fixture: Nasarawa Amazons 2-0 Osun Babes

FORM GUIDE (Last five games):

Osun Babes: DLWWW

Nasarawa Amazons: WWDWL

 

Edo Queens (6th) vs Adamawa Queens (4th)

There is everything to play for in this mid-table clash because Edo Queens would not want Pelican Stars to catch up with them, while Adamawa Queens would not want to miss an opportunity to climb back into the top three.

So far this season, Edo Queens have had two wins and two draws at home while Adamawa Queens have secured one win, two draws and one loss away from home. Their only loss yet was against Delta Queens on Matchday 5.

Reverse fixture: Adamawa Queens 0-0 Edo Queens

FORM GUIDE (Last five games):

Edo Queens: WWDDL

Adamawa Queens: DLDDW

 

MATCHDAY 8 FIXTURES

Wednesday June 28

Group A

Rivers Angels vs Heartland Queens (Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt)

Ibom Angels vs Sunshine Queens (Itam Sports Complex, Uyo) 

FC Robo Queens vs Abia Angels (Legacy Pitch, National Stadium, Lagos)

Group B

Edo Queens vs Adamawa Queens (Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin)

Sa’adatu Amazons vs Pelican Stars  (Federal Polytechnic Pitch, Minna)

Thursday June 29

Osun Babes vs Nasarawa Amazons (Osogbo City Stadium, Osun State)

Confluence Queens vs Delta Queens (Confluence Stadium, Lokoja)

 

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