Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup
Saturday, Group A
Djibouti vs Somalia, Wakiso (2pm)
Uganda vs Burundi, Namboole (4pm –Free entry)
Sunday, Group B
Zanzibar vs Sudan
Kenya vs Tanzania
Uganda Cranes head coach Jonathan McKinstry will handle his first Cecafa Challenge Cup game when Uganda takes on Burundi this Saturday at the StarTimes stadium in the second game of the opening day after Somalia plays Djibouti at the same ground earlier in the day.
Midfielder Chrysostom Ntambi and striker Idris Lubega were forced out of the tournament due to injuries while Steve Mukwala bounced back from earlier axing to replace Lubega who got injured against KCCA.
McKinstry who wants to use the championship as a precursor to the CHAN finals in Cameroon next year, is confident his charges will put up the best performance.
“We are pleased with the preparations. We are looking for a balance but the squad is in good shape; every one is happy and looking forward to the start of the tournament. We have taken in new formations and the game will be the test for them to put it into practice. For us the tournament is 80% ours and 20% for others and we are not minding change of opponents. The focus has been on what we can do when we have the ball and when we do not have it and am confident, we will do well in the tournament,” noted the Northern Ireland tactician whose first game at Namboole saw Cranes beat Malawi 2-0 in the Afcon 2021 qualifiers last month.
“We had to make turf decisions, Steven is a good striker and was the premier league top scorer but we can’t have five strikers on the squad of twenty. We shall make more turf decision because we have 26 and we can only have 20 final,” he added.
Uganda are 14-time record winners and will hope to dethrone Kenya who won it in 2017 when it was last held in Kenya.
Nine countries are taking part after the withdraw of four nations including; South Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Cranes line up:
Charles Lukwago (GK), Paul Willa, Mustafa Kizza, John Revita, Halid Lwaliwa (cpt), Shafiq Kagimu, Bright Anukani, Allan Kayiwa Fahad Bayo and Viane Sekajugo.