The week of training and talking comes to a halt today, with action finally getting underway at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole tomorrow.
Tanzania desperately want to get their campaign going after a 1-1 home draw with Lesotho last year.
The Cranes will take nothing but three points as they believe they have all it takes to take anyone down at home, although Kizito Luwagga reminded them in yesterday’s Daily Monitor that this tie is different in nature.
“Tanzania, we might see like it’s not a strong team like us,” said the Bate Borisov, Belarus creative midfielder, “But it’s an East African derby.
“We have to give 100 per cent to win Saturday’s game.”
Simba striker Emmanuel Okwi and defender Murushid Jjuuko, Egypt-based Hassan Wasswa and KCCA’s Sadam Juma all spoke this week about the importance of three points tomorrow. But the vibes from the Tanzanian camp, who arrived in the country yesterday, point to it being a very close encounter as the fight for Cameroon 2019 resumes.
“It is a game that we go into for the purpose of doing well and keeping ourselves in the best environment for our group,” reads a statement on the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) before the team departed for Kampala.
Tanzania and Lesotho are tied on a point apiece, with Uganda – who opened with a 1-0 away victory in Cape Verde – leading the pack on three.
Coach Emmanuel Amunike continues to look “at various shortcomings and to work where he believes there needs improving.”
His main weapon, Mbwana Samatta, too, expects a tough and close game.
“It will be very competitive but we hope to get the best result.”
The Cranes continued doing final touches at Namboole yesterday and will be desperate to get the home campaign underway with victory.
Uganda, spurred on by experienced skipper and Caf Champions League winner Denis Onyango, are bidding to return to Afcon finals for the second successive time after ending their four-decade absence last year.
Tanzania are looking to qualifying for the Nations Cup finals for the first time since 1980.
Afcon 2019 group l qualifier
Uganda vs Tanzania 4pm
Mandela National Stadium, Namboole
Charges: 15,000/- (Ordinary), 40,000/-
(VIP), 150,000/- (VVIP)