KAMPALA. Today’s big fixture between league champions Vipers and 12-time winners KCCA will not decide the title. Far from it.
Yet, there is no denying that victory for either of them will go a long way in the psychological warfare of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) title destination.
A win for hosts Vipers, who top the table at 13 points, at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende will see coach Javier Martinez’s men open a five-point lead on KCCA.
That would hugely galvanise the Venoms, whose four-match winning run was interrupted by the 2-2 draw at Kirinya-Jinja on Tuesday. They would feel like they have cleared one big log out of their way to the title defence.
Yet, victory for KCCA at a stadium they lost 3-2 last season to surrender title fight would strongly reaffirm the deposed champions are in serious business to reclaim the gong.
Manager Mike Mutebi’s men would without further ado go top of the table on 14 points, one better than Vipers.
This is not a game to declare champions. This is a game to make intentions clear. “We are under no pressure,” said Mutebi after his side were held goalless by Mbarara City on Wednesday.
“We are in a marathon. We shall go to Kitende and try to play and win.” In Vipers, KCCA meet a team that have gone 22 matches unbeaten, with their last defeat coming in November against URA at home. “We can be disappointed about the result (2-2) on Tuesday but we cannot change our approach.
“With and without the ball we are going to try to have a strategy for KCCA FC and play in the way we have been playing.”
Moses Waiswa, Cranes revelation in Sebastien Desabre’s team yet, is expected to man the midfield alongside Geoffrey Wasswa, who should move from defence for suspended Taddeo Lwanga.
Top teams in Uganda
“We’re playing against one of the top teams like us in the country,” said the assured creative player, Waiswa.
“But we still have to show our way of playing and when we do that we know we can cause problems.” Waiswa will battle the KCCA probable midfield of Sadam Juma, Nicholas Kasozi and Allan Okello, with Jackson Nunda and Julius Poloto adding magic either side of goal-getter Patrick Kaddu.
Halid Lwaliwa is expected to fill the defensive void vacated by Wasswa to the midfield for Vipers.
The visitors, KCCA, will also miss the services of Hassan Jurua in defence through suspension.
Kasozi, KCCA skipper Timothy Awany and Company will have Vipers talisman Daniel Sserunkuma, who has scored in each of his last three matches, to worry about. Elsewhere, Tooro United host Onduparaka in their first home game in Fort Portal in a match that is expected to pull crowds. SC Villa visit Mbarara while Express travel to Arua to face Paidha Black Angels.
Vipers SC vs. KCCA– St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende (4:00pm, Live On Sanyuka TV)
Paidha BA vs. Express, Arua
Bul vs. Ndejje Uni. – Njeru, Jinja
Mbarara City vs. SC Villa – Kavumba
Bright Stars vs. Kirinya Jinja – Mwererwe
Tooro United vs. Onduparaka – Fort Portal
Vipers vs KCCA head to head
Overall meetings: 26
Vipers wins: 11
KCCA wins: 10
Vipers losses: 10
KCCA losses: 11