Enyimba- Wikki Tourists Countdown: History favours the People’s Elephant

Eyimba will fancy their chances against one of the surprise teams of the
2014/2015 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), Wikki Tourists,
when the latter travel to Aba in one of the stand-out duels of Week
31. Previous encounters between them favour the People’s Elephant to
take the available points.

In terms of heritage and history, there is not contest between these two; Enyimba have won
six league titles previously and are on the cusp of their seventh,
while Wikki are still waiting for their very first domestic crown.

The pair have met 18 times in the Premier League since they first
slugged it out in 2003, and Enyimba have beaten Wikki seven times, drawn
six and lost five of those matches to stand as the clear favourites for
the tie slated for the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba on Sunday.

The People’s Elephant are enjoying a four-match winning streak at
home against the Bauchi side which stretches back eight years.The last
time they failed to pick maximum points against Wikki in Aba was on 21
October 2007 when theTourists fought hard to hold Enyimba to a 2-2 draw.
The other time the Bauchi side managed to leave Aba unscathed was on 14
March 2004 when they forced Enyimba to a 1-1 draw in a Week 5 Premier
League clash.

Is there any chance of a repeat performance this weekend?

Can the Tourists keep their unlikely title hopes alive this weekend?

Besides these two infractions, Enyimba have beaten Wikki every time
they have met in the league, especially in Aba where they have defeated
the Bauchi side in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013, before Wikki got relegated
to the lower league at the end of the 2012/2013 league season.

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All of the losses suffered by Enyimba against Wikki have come outside
Aba and despite suffering defeats in 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2013,
the People’s Elephants have also churned out one away win and four draws
at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi. Enyimba surprised Wikki
when they handed them a 2-1 home defeat on 06 June 2007 in the opening
fixture of the league that season and their visits to Bauchi in 2005,
2009, 2012 and the last tie played on June 14 2015 in a NPFLWeek 11 tie
have all ended in draws.

With the current position of Enyimba on the league table, they are
aware that only a win on Sunday against Wikki would atone for their away
loss to El Kanemi Warriors, and also put an end to the assertion that
the Aba side are already losing steam with only eight matches to go
until the end of the league season.

Wikki too are buoyed by their impressive form in the league this
season and this has brought back the memory of 2007 campaign when the
club famously grabbed a Caf Confederation Cup berth.

Will Enyimba’s recent form give them the confidence to overcome the Tourists?

They have been awesome since the beginning of the current season, and
with four away victories already in the top flight already this term,
they are ranked second only to Enyimba, who have also secured four road
victories but have got more away draws than the Bauchi side in the away
form guide. The People’s Elephant boast of six away draws compared to
Wikki’s three.

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However, Wikki will take encouragement from some uninspiring
performances by Enyimba in Aba, where they have failed to pick up
maximum points in four of their 15 home matches. However, the
rejuvenation of the six-time league champions in recent games may serve
to dampen the Tourists’ hopes of success. Enyimba will also be driven by
their resolve to win a record-setting seventh league title. They share
the record for the most won league titles with Enugu Rangers with each
winning six apiece, but a victory this season will take them above the
Flying Antelopes.

Enyimba are atop the NPFL table with 55 points from 30 matches and
with Warri Wolves, Wikki, Sunshine Stars and Giwa breathing down their
necks, only a home win will be acceptable to the two-time African
Champions League winners. Wikki with only four points behind in third
with 51 points from 30 games, will narrow the gap on the league leaders
if they get an unlikely favourable result in Aba.    

Trivia

Enyimba has a current winning streak of 4 home games against Wikki since 2007 when the Bauchi side picked a 2-2 draw in Aba

Enyimba hasn’t lost for the last eight games at home against Wikki Tourists

Enyimba hasn’t won for the last six games away to Wikki since 2007 when they grabbed a 2-1 win in Bauchi

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