Nigeria: Four Matches to Watch This Weekend

(file photo).
6 December 2019

Heartland FC v Plateau United @Okigwe Township Stadium @3pm on Dec.8

It has been a hard and deflating Nigeria Professional Football League season for Heartland in the first six weeks.

Ensconced in 17th place with just five points from six matches - the team led by former MFM gaffer, Fidelis Ilechukwu, must of necessity find goals and wins at their home -the Okigwe Stadium.

The major challenge facing Heartland is a lack of goals - they have scored just three goals; two at home where they have lost once, drawn once and won just one match.

In Sunday's opponents, they face the most plausible test against the 2017 champions, Plateau United, who are yet to taste defeat this season under Audu Maikaba. They have garnered two wins - home and away with two draws, scoring 10 and conceding just four.

Current Form: Heartland [L-W-L-D-D]; Plateau [D-W-D-W-W]

Head to head

Sun 07/04/19 NPF Plateau Utd 0 - 0 Heartland

Wed 16/01/19 NPF Heartland 3 - 0 Plateau Utd

Mon 23/04/18 NPF Heartland 1 - 1 Plateau Utd

Sun 02/10/16 NPF Plateau Utd 3 - 0 Heartland

Wed 18/05/16 NPF Heartland 0 - 0 Plateau Utd

Prediction: Heartland 1-1 Plateau United

Manchester City v Manchester United @Etihad Stadium @6:30 pm on Dec.7

Two Manchester sides, but with different agendas. Will Manchester City slip up again in their pursuit of Liverpool when they host their neighbours, United, who do not know which side to dislike the most at present - their city rivals or historical rivals?

The 179th Manchester derby is one that has a lot of consequences for whichever team loses.

Pep Guardiola's City looked to be back to their rampaging best in the 4-1 dismantling of Burnley during the week while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer led his side to an energising 2-1 win over Jose Mourinho's Tottenham.

United will continue without the rehabilitating Paul Pogba while City will miss the immense contributions from record goalscorer, Sergio Aguero, and defensive lynchpin, Aymeric Laporte. The forecast is that the first scorer will win on Saturday, but then you never know with derbies.

Current Form: Man. City [W-D-D-W-L]; Man. United [W-D-L-D-W]

Head to head

24/04/19 PRL Man. United 0 - 2 Man. City

11/11/18 PRL Man. City 3 - 1 Man. United

07/04/18 PRL Man. City 2 - 3 Man. United

10/12/17 PRL Man. United 1 - 2 Man. City

20/07/17 ICC Man. United 2 - 0 Man. City

Prediction: Man. City 3-1 Man. United

Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayern Munich @ Borussia-Park @3:30pm on Dec. 7

Bayern cannot afford a second consecutive loss, but they face a huge task at Borussia Park against the current Bundesliga leaders, who have a fearsome forward line of Breel Embolo, Patrick Herrmann, and Marcus Thuram.

Thuram, with six goals this season, told Bundesliga.com there was no favourite team in the league - a tongue-in-cheek statement purportedly directed at Bayern, who have won 28 league titles and have won the last seven titles.

Bayern's Interim manager, Hansi Flick, knows that with the scoring form of Robert Lewandowski, 16 league goals already, but none in the last two, Bayern will always have a chance, but they must tighten up at the back.

Current Form: Monchengladbach [W-W-L-W-W]; Bayern Munich [L-W-W-W-W]

Head to head

02/03/19 BUN Monchengladbach 1 - 5 Bayern Munich

06/10/18 BUN Bayern Munich 0 - 3 Monchengladbach

14/04/18 BUN Bayern Munich 5 - 1 Monchengladbach

25/11/17 BUN Monchengladbach 2 - 1 Bayern Munich

19/03/17 BUN Monchengladbach 0 - 1 Bayern Munich

Prediction: Monchengladbach 1-2 Bayern Munich

Inter Milan v AS Roma @San Siro @8:45pm on Dec. 6

After upstaging Juventus at the summit of Serie A, the harder task of keeping them off is what assails Antonio Conte and his gelling Inter team.

Their opponents on Friday have found some form in recent matches - winning their last three matches, scoring nine goals and conceding just one.

They will believe they can get a good result at San Siro with Conte missing four influential players - Kwadwo Asamoah, Stefano Sensi, Nicolo Barella, and Roberto Gagliardini.

Though Conte can call on the firing duo of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, who between them have scored 18 goals. Paulo Fonseca should throw former Inter Milan Academy player, Nicolo Zaniolo into his starting 11, hoping he will haunt his former side.

Current Form: Inter [W-W-W-W-L]; Roma [W-W-W-L-L]

Head to head

20/04/19 SEA Inter 1 - 1 Roma

02/12/18 SEA Roma 2 - 2 Inter

21/01/18 SEA Inter 1 - 1 Roma

26/08/17 SEA Roma 1 - 3 Inter

26/02/17 SEA Inter 1 - 3 Roma

Prediction: Inter Milan 2-1 AS Roma

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