StarTimes Uganda premier league
Vipers SC vs KCCA, Kitende (4pm- Live on Sanyuka)
Busoga United vs URA, Jinja
Wakiso Giants vs Maroons, Wakiso
Police vs Bright Stars, Lugogo
The biggest game of this StarTimes Uganda premier league season so far takes place this Tuesday afternoon at the St Mary’s stadium when leaders Vipers SC welcome champions and closest title challengers KCCA to Kitende.
Five points separate the two sides at the top of the table after 21 games, with Vipers boasting of 49 points while KCCA have 44 as they struggle to keep pace. Even with nine games of the season still to play, this feels like a pivotal match players, managers and fans.
Both sides have played down the suggestion that this could be a title decider, but there is no doubt that the result will have a huge impact on the table –either Vipers move eight points clear, their lead stays at five or KCCA cut the gap to two. The difference between recovering an eight-point deficit or a two-point one is huge, both realistically and psychologically, so for KCCA this contest is verging on the realm of ‘Must not lose’ territory as was the case when they welcomes Vipers to the StarTimes stadium in last November.
Victory on that occasion courtesy of Muzamir Mutyaba’s 31st minute goal following Erisa Ssekisambu donkey work on the right handed Vipers first loss of the season albeit leaving KCCA 11 point adrift (with four games in hand). Since Vipers has seen change of coach with Edward Golola being replaced by Fred Kajoba in the high-quality premier league race.
Vipers have only lost twice –against KCCA on road and SC Villa at home while the Lugogo side has seen all their five losses of the season. KCCA have not drawn on road but have had five of the 14 victories on road while Vipers have managed 8 wins of their 15 from home.
Vipers lead striker Fahad Bayo has scored 9 of his 11 goals from Kitende and will be reliable this afternoon whilst former Venom Mike Mutyaba with seven leading KCCA line. Speedy winger Milton Karisa who returned to Kitende from Moroccan outfit Mouloudia Club Oranais could make his first appearance while skipper Halid Lwaliwa, Karim Watambala, Siraje Sentamu and Geoffrey Wasswa have recovered in time for the big game.
Shaban Muhammed who is yet to feature since joining this season a two-year deal remains out just as Livingstone Mulondo. Rashid Toha and Farouk Musisi are the other Venoms players sidelined. Vipers SC Coach Fred Kajoba knows that is the toughest test his taking over the reign at Kitende but insists his side will not be put under any kind of pressure.
“We know it is a big game but we are not under any pressure. We shall play the game the way it is but we need to be more lethal upfront. As a team, we need to improve on our conversion rate because we are not short of creativity,” noted Kajoba.
KCCA’s Mutebi is boosted by the return of some of his big guns from injury and suspension. “This is a marathon but we must take each game as a final. It is a game between the best two teams in Uganda currently. We are ready for the tie and we are going for victory,” noted Mutebi, who still misses John Revita, Sam Ssenyonjo, Sadat Anaku and Kato Nemeyimana due to license issues.
Elsewhere, Deo Serwaddwa will handle his first game as Wakiso Giants head coach after replacing sacked Livingston Mbabazi when they host stubborn Douglas Bamweyana’s Maroons.
Still unbeaten at the Mighty Arena, Busoga United host in-form URA FC whose coach was named the January coach of the month in the Real Stars sports awards held yesterday. Police awaits Bright Stars at Lugogo in the other tie.
Vipers wins: 11
Goals for: 35