Following yesterday’s look at the Mainland Conference, today we take a look at the Island Conference and its Match Day 3 games.
Dannaz v Saints
Last matchday saw the first meeting between these two sides postponed to matchday 4 but we don’t have to wait till that to see them lock horns in what is the most-anticipated fixture of the Regular Season. Both teams come into this game with 100% win rate alongside their 1 goal conceded & 1 clean-sheet to start the season leaving us with very little to separate them with.
Dannaz’ Joshua Obakini has won consecutive Player of the Month awards making him an early front runner for the League MVP award. His 3 goals scored in the opening Matchday makes him (and Abbey Omobulegbe who also scored 3 times in the first 2 matchdays) the first player since Emmanuel Eze in 2016 (for Royals) to score in the first 2 games of the season. Manager, Danny Nazzal has also won consecutive Manager of the Month awards and his hunger for success continues to grow even more. They’ve put 6 past Alphas and Citizens with 5 of those 6 coming in the first half which tells you almost everything you need to know about how impressive they’ve been at the start of games.
For Saints, they’re having their title credentials questioned for the first time since 2016 when they famously lost to Royals. They may have started the season with 2 wins but they’ve failed to look like the Saints sides of the past seasons that dominated games from start to finish. Against Citizens, they were saved by the woodwork on two occasions and were lucky to come away with all 3 points after Citizens looked like the slightly better side all game. Last Matchday against Alphas, they relied on a late winner to seal a win after Alphas lack of composure in front of Saints’ goal saw them fail to convert any of their truck load of chances created. In comparison, Dannaz tossed aside these two teams with relative ease.
The last time Saints’ title credentials were questioned, they went on an unbeaten run and captured the League title. With questions being asked again, they’ll be itching to respond with a statement win. The thing is, Dannaz are well equipped to handle them giving this game all the making of a classic encounter.
Alphas v Citizens
Citizens come into Matchday 3 as the side under the most pressure. Their 3 losses to start the season now means they’ve lost each of their last 8 games with 9 losses and just a draw in their last 10 games. Their last victory came on the 6th of May last season against Bravos Knights, their only win in a little under 2 years.
Manager, Doyin Ajibike’s huge gamble on Matchday 1 to rest his key players against an already tired Alphas (who had played earlier in the day) and play his strongest side against Saints proved to be very, very costly as he lost both games. Another loss followed when they met Dannaz on Matchday 2 leaving them with no point after 50% of their games played. A loss on Saturday could see their season be all but over and you’ll have to imagine they’ll be putting up a serious fight to save their season.
Alphas have stepped their game up a notch despite winning just once and losing twice in 3 games so far. Their loss to Saints on Matchday 2 must have been disappointing for them considering they had lots of chances to put the game away. They’ll no doubt fancy themselves for this one after their win in the reverse fixture. If they do, they’ll be almost certain of a playoff spot which, you would imagine, should be enough motivation for them.
For Citizens, it is time for former Raineri duo, Victor Eneji and Alawam Shahin to deliver a huge performance. Both players were brought in to take Citizens into the next phase of their development as a team but so far, it hasn’t worked out so well. Their qualities are undeniable and if ever there was a time to show it, it’s this Saturday.