IF Heartland are to turn around their miserable campaign, it’s imperative they secure their first NPFL win at Kano Pillars in the modern era. They have taken just two points away from home, but unless they take all three points, it will be hard for their fans to consider them as anything other than the great pretenders for yet another season.
The Naze Millionaires haven’t beaten Pillars in Kano since the semi final second leg of the 2009 Caf Champions League which Heartland won 1-0 to follow up on the 4-0 first leg advantage in Owerri. They went on to lose the final of the lucrative club competition to Congolese giants TP Mazembe.
Heartland will fancy their chances in the league after Enyimba, their next-door neighbours, broke their hoodoo in Kano barely two weeks ago when they shocked Pillars 2-1 at the Sani Abacha Stadium.
However, it won’t be easy for the Owerri side, because Sai Masu Gida are not noted for losing freely at home, having only lost twice in the last 16 years.
Heartland have not done themselves any good at all in the league this season with the way they have been beaten too easily away, while they have also not convinced in front of their own fans at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, despite picking up six victories.
The upcoming bout is further complicated by Heartland’s precarious league position, and they could drop into the relegation zone with a defeat.
In Heartland’s nine visits to Kano since 2007, they have only secured three draws and lost the other six.