Black Leopards face Warri Wolves in CAF Confederation Cup in Nigeria
Posted: 26 April 2012 Time: 11:32
Black Leopards travel to play Warri Wolves on Sunday, but face a daunting record: in Nigeria only 3.8% of matches are won away.
Leopards are up against Warri Wolves in the first leg of their CAF Confederation Cup second round tie.
Nigerian sides have traditionally been exceptionally difficult to beat at home, not just in continental competition, but also the Nigerian Premier League (NPL).
This season there have been 208 games played in the NPL this season. Of those, only eight have been won by the away side, around 3.8 percent of matches.
Compare that to the PSL where 29 percent of the games have been won by the away side and you see a marked difference.
In England the figure is 32 percent, in Spain 25 percent, France 23 percent, Germany 28 percent and Italy 25 percent. You get the idea, Nigeria’s figure is ridiculously low by global standards and should be held to up to scrutiny.
More absurd is the fact that with the current NPL leaders, Kano Pillars, have yet to win on the road this season, but have been victorious in 10 of their 12 home matches. Why would this be?
In fact, only five teams have lost at home this season, while only two of the bottom nine teams in the table have lost on their own ground.
With 22 rounds played this season, seven sides have conceded just three or fewer goals at home.
Last season's Nigerian entrants into the Confederation Cup also both fared very well on their own patch.
Enyimba made the semi-finals, but conceded in just two of their seven home matches, neither of which ended in defeat. And Kano Pillars bowed out of the tournament without conceding at home at all, their away form letting them down.
Wolves have played in four home matches in the Confederation Cup in their history, dating back to their first entry in 2010, and have won all of those games, conceding just once in the process. This year they beat Kallon FC of Sierra Leone 2-0 in their only home tie so far.
But here is the rider, and one that will perhaps give Leopards hope if they can do the impossible in Warri.
Wolves have never won away from home in those four ties in the Confederation Cup competition either, losing two and drawing two.
The moral of the story? Expects the odds to be stacked against you in Nigeria, but take the teams out of their home environment and there is every chance of a win.