by Ojeikere Aikhoje
It promises to be a historic encounter at leaders Dolphins on Saturday, as high flying Bukola Babes stake their eight-match unbeaten run in the Nigerian Premier League encounter.
Interestingly, the last time Bukola Babes lost a match was against Dolphins’ city rivals, Sharks, on December 18. This explains why the club is placed third on the 20-team log since other teams have been unable to stop their ambition.
Pic: Abubarkar Yusuf (Bukola Babes)
Bukola are in for a herculean task as Dolphins have won all their home matches and ended a famous five-match unbeaten run when Warri Wolves visited their spiritual home, the Liberation Stadium.
Saturday’s meeting is the first-ever between both teams so there is no previous record to consider as both sides prepare for the classic match.
However, results obtained by both sides is a clear indication of a spectacular clash ahead.
Bukola hammered former champions, Lobi Stars, 3-1, to set an eight-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Top sides like Warri Wolves, Heartland, Kwara United, Niger Tornadoes and Gombe United have been unable to defeat the newly promoted side.
To confirm their impressive run, Dolphins have not shared the points at home with any team, while Bukola have refused to lose in three away matches on the way to setting their unbeaten record.
Although Dolphins have the best defence with only six goals conceded after 15 matches, statistics reveal that Bukola has one of the best attacks in the league which will consistently knock on the door for goals.
Youngsters Aminu Abdulkadiri, Fade Adebayo and Kwara Football Academy graduate, Aminu Abdulkadiri, have scored 10 goals as the club’s leading scorers.
Bashir has five goals, Fade has hit target thrice, while Abdulkadiri has a brace to his credit.
Coach Festus Allen clearly boosts of a squad in which any player can hit target as the top three scorers play in different positions.
Bashir is a support striker, who can play wide and Adebayo is a central defender, who has converted three freekicks this term, with Abdulkadiri also scoring from his midfield role.
Adebayo told SuperSport.com that their target is to go unbeaten in 10 matches.
“We intend to preserve our record and go unbeaten in 10 matches,” he said to SuperSport.com.
The central defender, who has made the Nigeria Premier League team of the week revealed that the mentality of the team has changed since the last visit to Port-Harcourt on match day seven.
“We were simply unlucky against Sharks. It would have been a different story.
“The good thing is that our team has changed after the impressive results and confidence is equally high,” he said.
Adebayo, central defence partner, Seun Sogbeson and full-backs, Cletus Promise and Abubakar Yusuf will have to be alert for 90 minutes as Dolphins have some tricky players who can punish defenders.
Dolphins have scored 14 goals with the top scorers contributing nine goals.
Captain Ejindu has scored thrice, while the trio of Uche Oguchi, Abdul Ajagun and Ghanaian star, Owusu Addae have two goals each.
Ajagun is already out of this match as he is presently with Nigeria’s Under-20 team in Turkey. In spite of his absence, Stanley Eguma, still has others to throw into the fray.
On a day Bukola Babes look to extend their unbeaten run and Dolphins with a target to maintain their victorious run at home, the fans will certainly get value for money as the best of Nigerian football will be on display.
Pic By Backpage pix