NWPL Preview: Clash of South South heavyweights to light up Nembe on Matchday 8

The Nigeria Women Premier League is set to resume on Wednesday June 21 – after a 41-day break – with seven exciting fixtures on showcase across the country.

In the first round, fans were thrilled to 109 goals in 49 matches as seven Matchdays went by smoothly. There were 30 home wins, four on the road and 15 draws recorded. And while defending champions Rivers Angels remain the only side yet to taste defeat, Sa’adatu Amazons still don’t know what victory feels like.

Let’s now take a peek into what to expect from Matchday 8 which marks the commencement of the second round.

GROUP A

Bayelsa Queens (3rd) vs Rivers Angels (1st)

Fireworks are expected at the Nembe City Stadium when Bayelsa Queens go head to head with Rivers Angels. These two heavyweights will flex their muscles for supremacy with the top of the table at stake.

Although Rivers Angels currently occupy that spot, they will lose it if they succumb to their first defeat of the season at the hands of their South South rivals who could in turn climb to the summit if second-placed FC Robo Queens fail to pick maximum points in Akure.

In the reverse fixture decided at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, the Restoration Girls matched the Jewel of Rivers strength for strength and they are still blaming the heavy downpour on that day for their narrow 2-1 loss. However, they dented Rivers Angels’ impeccable home record with their goal.

This time, Bayelsa Queens are at home where they have remained infallible, scoring a minimum of two goals in all three matches played and conceding none. They have amassed the highest number of goals in Group A (11) and have three of their players (Joy Bokiri, Tessy Biawho and Yetunde Adeboyejo) on three goals apiece. While Rivers Angels have Alice Ogebe as their leading goal scorer with three goals.

That notwithstanding, an all attacking affair is expected between both sides when they lock horns for the second time this season.

FORM GUIDE (Last 5 matches):

Bayelsa Queens: WDWWL

Rivers Angels: WDWDW

 

Heartland Queens (7th) vs Ibom Angels (4th)

One would expect tomorrow to be payback time for Heartland Queens against Ibom Angels after they were subjected to a humiliating 4-0 defeat on Matchday 7 in Uyo, but they have been tagged the weakest team in the group and being at the bottom can only be seen as a confirmation. However, after acquiring the services of former Super Falcons coach Eucharia Uche in mid-season, who knows?

The Owerri-based outfit have not only brought in a new coach, they also beefed up their squad with the trio of Peace Obioma, Godwin Jane and Best Osuji in line to feature for them against Ibom Angels at the Federal Polytechnic Pitch, Nekede.

Coach Whyte Ogbonda’s Ibom Angels would be the first team to know what this tweaked Heartland Queens are like as they go on the hunt for a first away victory, but they may not have much to worry about because they have in their squad the league’s leading goal scorer, Charity Reuben, who has scored five goals in six matches.

Coach Uche on the other hand would want to hit the ground running on a perfect note to redeem Heartland Queens’ home form that has seen them collect only five points from a possible nine.

FORM GUIDE:

Heartland Queens: WLDDL

Ibom Angels: DLWLW

 

Sunshine Queens (5th) vs FC Robo Queens (2nd)

FC Robo Queens have proved to be the surprise package of Group A. Who would have thought they would be three places above 2015 Federation Cup Champions, Sunshine Queens on the log? But with 11 points from six matches, their home and away records speak for them.

Meanwhile Coach Wemimo Matthew’s Sunshine Queens, nicknamed the Owena Mermaids have already dropped two points at home this season and would not want to drop more when their visitors from Lagos – who boast of two draws on the road this season – come knocking.

As a result of their below average performance in the first round, Sunshine Queens dropped ten players ahead of the second round.

FORM GUIDE:

Sunshine Queens: LDLWL

FC Robo Queens: WLWDW

 

Abia Angels (6th) are on standby on Matchday 8 as was the case on Matchday 7

 

GROUP B

Delta Queens (5th) vs Nasarawa Amazons (1st)

Leaders Nasarawa Amazons will be looking to continue in the fine form that has seen them garner 16 points in the first round when they travel to Delta Queens. Their only defeat so far this season came on Matchday 2 and they have since remained unbeaten – with four away points to relish.

Although Delta Queens goalkeeper Rita Akarekor will be highly motivated to extinguish the fire power of the Amazons after benefiting from the Ladies in Sports grants in mid-season, their Lafia-based opponents can also trust the safe hands of their goalkeeper Chioma Nwankwo who kept five clean sheets in the first round.

FORM GUIDE:

Delta Queens: WDWLL

Nasarawa Amazons: WWWDW

 

Adamawa Queens (3rd) vs Confluence Queens (2nd)

Adamawa Queens shocked Confluence Queens in the reverse fixture when they held them to a 1-1 draw despite being down by a player.

Confluence Queens will be looking to take their pound of flesh with the hope of getting their second away victory of the season. Their first came against Pelican Stars on Matchday 6.

FORM GUIDE:

Adamawa Queens: WDLDD

Confluence Queens: WLWWD

 

Osun Babes (6th) vs Sa’adatu Amazons (8th)

Osun Babes will still be relishing their away victory over Sa’adatu Amazons on Matchday 7. That victory helped give a facelift to what was unfolding as an underwhelming season for the Omoluabi Queens in a highly competitive group.

The odds are in their favour to do a double over visiting Sa’adatu Amazons who are yet to win a game this season.

FORM GUIDE:

Osun Babes: LDLWW

Sa’adatu Amazons: LLLDL

 

Pelican Stars (7th) vs Edo Queens (4th)

Seven-time champions Pelican Stars have been terribly disappointing so far in the season but they still have a chance to make things right starting from their encounter against Edo Queens who are five points above them.

Pelican Stars only have four goals for their below par efforts and have only managed one win which came against the whipping girls of the group, Sa’adatu Amazons. Meanwhile Edo Queens have suffered just one loss in the current campaign but they have secured four draws from seven matches, two of those coming on the road.

FORM GUIDE:

Pelican Stars: LDLLD

Edo Queens: LWWDD

 

MATCHDAY 8 FIXTURES

Group A

Heartland Queens vs Ibom Angels (Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Imo State)

Sunshine Queens vs FC Robo Queens (Akure Township Stadium, Ondo State) 

Bayelsa Queens vs Rivers Angels (­ Nembe City Stadium, Bayelsa State)

 

Group B

Delta Queens vs Nasarawa Amazons (Kwale Township Stadium, Delta State)

Osun Babes vs Saadatu Amazon (Osogbo City Stadium, Osun State)

Adamawa Queens vs Confluence Queens (Atiku Abubakar Stadium Fufure, Adamawa State)

Pelican Stars vs Edo Queens (U. J. Esuene Stadium, Cross Rivers State)

 

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