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Sunshine Stars v Wikki Tourists Preview & Tips: Two struggling teams clash in Nigeria.
Sunshine Stars face Wikki Tourists in a battle that holds great significance at the bottom of the league
17th placed Sunshine Stars host to Wikki Tourists at the Akure Township Stadium on Sunday with the hosts desperate for points in their bid to climb the table. The visitors are currently sit three points clear of the relegation zone and will be looking for some breathing room.
Sunshine have barely been out of the bottom four all season and currently sit in the final relegation place. The Akure side have been beaten six times this season and have won only once in their last five. They have scored 14 goals this season and conceded 20 thus far.
Sikiru Alimi has been the one shining light in a dreadful season for Sunshine, the forward scoring five goals and the focal point of the team’s attack. Alimi should lead the line against Wikki, supported by Bala Yahuza, Franklin Sasere, and Sunday Yahuza.
Sunshine looked on course for their first away win of the season when they took a 1-0 lead against FC Ifeanyi Ubah in Nnewi, but the hosts stormed back with a big second half performance to win 3-1. One win in the last six games is not survival form and the Stars supporters have vented their anger at the team, booing them in the last set of home games.
Despite sitting in 12th place on the table, Wikki are still in danger of being dragged into the relegation scrap as only three points separate them from Sunshine. The Bauchi side have won six games this season, all of which have come at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa stadium while they remain winless away from home.
Nafiu Kabuga carries the attacking threat for Wikki and he’ll be hoping to add to his seven goals this season when they travel to Akure. The striker will be leading the line on Sunday alongside Shammah Tanze, with whom he has an almost telepathic understanding.
The Giant Elephants drew against second place Kano Pillars at home last time out but were beaten 2-0 by Abia Warriors in their last away fixture.
Sunshine Stars have conceded 20 goals this season which is the joint worst defence in the league. All the good work up front from the likes of Alimi and Yahuza always seems to be undone by a dodgy back-line.
Stars are always open and exposed at the back which will be a big motivation for the Wikki pair of Kabuga and Tanze who will be relishing the prospect of coming up against them.
The last 10 fixtures between the pair has historically finished in a home win making Sunshine slight favourites despite their poor recent form.
- Sunshine Stars are unbeaten in 8 home matches (Nigerian PFL).
- Sunshine Stars have conceded 20 goals in 16 matches (Nigerian PFL).
- Wikki Tourists have lost 29 of their last 31 away matches (Nigerian PFL).
- The home side has won the last 10 meetings between these clubs (Nigerian PFL).
Sunshine have drawn their last three matches at home this season and given the state of their defence, Wikki are almost certain to find the net on Sunday. The onus will fall on Alimi to make up for his sides leaky rear at the top end of the pitch.
Sunshine are desperate for a win to stem the tide of poor results and will be banking on the support from their volatile home crowd. I’m going with history in this one.
Best Bet: Sunshine Stars win at 1.87