These four matches are more about pride. Arsenal are fighting to win the FA Cup for a third time consecutively – a record; Abia Warriors can go top of the NPFL table with a win while Louis van Gaal is fighting for what is left of his pride against the Hammers.
Abia Warriors v Enugu Rangers @ Umuahia Township
Stadium @4:00pm on March 13
Abia Warriors have not tasted defeat this season while Rangers have not won the league in over 30 years. These encounters have always been close affairs and because this match will be televised, it sure makes it much tighter. Rangers have better head-to-head advantage over the Warriors and if they increase their conversion rate above 50 per cent, this might as well be their season.
Abia Warriors [D-D-W-D-D]; Rangers [W-D-W-W-L]
Head to head
04/10/15 NPF Abia Warriors 3 – 3 Enugu Rangers
17/06/15 NPF Enugu Rangers 1 – 0 Abia Warriors
24/09/14 NPF Abia Warriors 0 – 0 Enugu Rangers
23/04/14 NPF Enugu Rangers 2 – 1 Abia Warriors
Prediction: Abia 1-1 Rangers
Arsenal v Watford @The Emirates @2:30pm on March 12
Arsene Wenger is under immense pressure from his team’s fans unlike any other time in his 20-year reign. The FA Cup also seems the likeliest route to any trophy this season. Meanwhile Quique Sanchez Flores is aiming to lead the Hornets to their best ever finish in the Premiership and a progression in the cup will just be an added feather. So they will be playing without pressure even though the run of form has been two consecutive 1-0 losses.
Arsenal -[W-D-L-L-L]; Watford – [L-L-D-W-W]
Head to head
17/10/15 PRL Watford 0 – 3 Arsenal
26/12/06 PRL Watford 1 – 2 Arsenal
14/10/06 PRL Arsenal 3 – 0 Watford
22/04/00 PRL Watford 2 – 3 Arsenal
24/09/99 PRL Arsenal 1 – 0 Watford
Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Watford
Man. Utd v West Ham @Old Trafford @5:00pm on March 13
Louis van Gaal should be plotting an escape route from Old Trafford [if he wants to be rational] but the Dutch manager has ego the size of Mt. Everest so he will be hoping that his team can react positively to their abysmal showing against Liverpool last Thursday. In West Ham, they have opponents who have skillful and pacey players combined with the height of Andy Carroll. This should be very interesting and something tells me that Slaven Bilic will be the one laughing at the end of the encounter.
Man. Utd [L-L-W-W-W]; West Ham [W-W-W-W-D]
Head to head
05/12/15 PRL Man. United 0 – 0 West Ham
08/02/15 PRL West Ham 1 – 1 Man. United
27/09/14 PRL Man. United 2 – 1 West Ham
22/03/14 PRL West Ham 0 – 2 Man. United
21/12/13 PRL Man. United 3 – 1 West Ham
Prediction: Man. Utd 1-2 West Ham
Dortmund v Mainz @SignalIduna Park @5:30pm on March 13
These are two in-form teams in the Bundesliga and the last two opponents of mighty Bayern. While Mainz won 2-1 at the Allianz Arena, Dortmund were held 0-0 at the Signal-Iduna Park. And they have history, the last two managers of Dortmund were formerly coaches of Mainz and they play with the same philosophy. Who will want it more this time? Thomas Tuchel or Martin Schmidt?
Dortmund – [W-W-W-D-W]; Mainz – [D-W-W-L-W]
Head to head
16/10/15 BUN Mainz 05 0 – 2 Dortmund
13/02/15 BUN Dortmund 4 – 2 Mainz 05
20/09/14 BUN Mainz 05 2 – 0 Dortmund
19/04/14 BUN Dortmund 4 – 2 Mainz 05
30/11/13 BUN Mainz 05 1 – 3 Dortmund
Prediction: Dortmund 2-1 Mainz
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