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Four football matches to watch this weekend

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Enyimba v Kano Pillars @Enyimba Stadium @4 p.m. on January 17

Kano Pillars have not lost in the four matches of the new season but historically, Pillars suffer against Enyimba, especially in Aba where Pillars have never beaten Enyimba.

Kano PillarsKano Pillars

The Aba-based side surprisingly lost 2-0 to Heartland last Wednesday though club captain, Austin Oladapo, told his club’s website that the club will soon get their acts together.

“I am very confident about the team. I know we have a very good squad, we have very good and young players. I’ve seen this kind of situation over and over since I came to Enyimba and how we overcame it.”

Pillars head to Aba in confident mood, after defeating Plateau United 1-0 last Wednesday and with Rabiu Ali, their talisman and captain in good scoring form – three goals in his first four league games.

The team’s new coach, Emmanuel Soccoia, is also confident that as long as his players play to his instructions, then the excellent results will continue, even against Enyimba in Aba, where they do not have an outstanding record.

Current Form: Enyimba [L-W-W-W-L]; Kano Pillars [W-D-W-D-D]

Head-to-head

07/06/19 NPF Kano Pillars 2 – 0 Enyimba

18/02/18 NPF Kano Pillars 1 – 1 Enyimba

30/07/17 NPF Enyimba 1 – 0 Kano Pillars

05/03/17 NPF Kano Pillars 3 – 1 Enyimba

17/07/16 NPF Enyimba 2 – 1 Kano Pillars

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Prediction: Enyimba 1-1 Kano Pillars

Liverpool v Man. United @Anfield @5:30 p.m. on January 17

For the first time in a long while, since Alex Ferguson retired, Manchester United travel to Anfield, on Sunday, in buoyant mood, feeling at par with their North-west rivals with the additional confidence of being above them on the league table.

Liverpool squadLiverpool squad

Going into Sunday’s encounter, Liverpool have scored more goals and conceded less but Jurgen Klopp’s men have scored just once in their last league matches – taking only two points from nine.

United are unbeaten in the league since November 1 and have not lost away from Old Trafford this season. They have won seven of their eight away matches, an exact stat for Liverpool’s home form – won seven and drawn one.

Liverpool still have their injury worries and we expect that Jordan Henderson may have to deputise as a centre half while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a full squad to choose from. Who will better display the champion’s credentials?

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

Head-to-head

19/01/20 PRL Liverpool 2 – 0 Man. United

20/10/19 PRL Man. United 1 – 1 Liverpool

24/02/19 PRL Man. United 0 – 0 Liverpool

16/12/18 PRL Liverpool 3 – 1 Man. United

28/07/18 ICC Man. United 1 – 4 Liverpool

Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Man. United

Inter Milan v Juventus @Stadio Giuseppe Meazza @8:45 p.m. on January 17

Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan are an inconsistent side, plagued by times when they lose concentration and concede cheap goals.

Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus have also been inconsistent recently but seem to have found another gear as they play catch-up with current Serie A leader, AC Milan. One point from a possible six in their last two league games means Inter cannot afford to drop more points with Juventus breathing down their necks.

Juventus [PHOTO CREDIT: @juventusfcen]Juventus [PHOTO CREDIT: @juventusfcen]

Pirlo has found the right combination in midfield and in attack with Federico Chiesa looking more and more like a game changer.

Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez have scored goals for Inter, but their defensive shape must get tighter to ward off the guile and shooting of Cristiano Ronaldo. If Juventus win on Sunday and their game in hand, they will become AC Milan’s closest challengers and that is an ominous sign for all Serie A teams.

Current Form: Inter Milan [W-D-L-W-W]; Juventus [W-W-W-W-L]

Head-to-head

08/03/20 SEA Juventus 2 – 0 Inter Milan

06/10/19 SEA Inter Milan 1 – 2 Juventus

24/07/19 ICC Juventus P 1 – 1 Inter Milan

27/04/19 SEA Inter Milan 1 – 1 Juventus

07/12/18 SEA Juventus 1 – 0 Inter Milan

Prediction: Inter Milan 1-3 Juventus

Ajax v Feyenoord @Johan Cruyff Arena @4:45 pm on Jan.17

This is the Dutch version of the El Clasico – De Klassiker – made more potent because Ajax’s lead over Feyenoord before Sunday’s 50th meeting is just three points, which Erik ten Hag’s team picked up on Wednesday with a gutsy 3-1 away win over FC Twente.

Ajax [PHOTO CREDIT: @AFCAjax ]Ajax [PHOTO CREDIT: @AFCAjax

]

Ten Hag will have to plan a winning strategy devoid of David Neres, Lassina Traore and Brian Brobbey, because of various injuries while Feyenoord will be hampered by the absences of Orkun Kokcu, Robert Bozenik, and Joao Carlos Teixeira but Dick Advocaat still has top goal scorer, Steven Berghuis, to count on.

Current Form: Ajax [W-D-D-W-W]; Feyenoord [W-W-W-L-W]

Head-to-head

27/10/19 ERE Ajax 4 – 0 Feyenoord

27/02/19 KNB Feyenoord 0 – 3 Ajax

27/01/19 ERE Feyenoord 6 – 2 Ajax

28/10/18 ERE Ajax 3 – 0 Feyenoord

21/01/18 ERE Ajax 2 – 0 Feyenoord

Prediction: Ajax 3-1 Feyenoord

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