StarTimes Uganda Premier League
Vipers SC vs Express FC
St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende
Friday, 01-03-2019 @4pm
KITENDE – Vipers SC will host Express FC at the St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende in one of only two StarTimes Uganda Premier League games to be played on Friday.
The Venoms who are currently seated second on the standings will be hoping to get three vital points in their bid to retain the title they won last season.
After leaders, KCCA lost 2-1 at home to URA and the Venoms draw 0-0 away to Onduparaka, Vipers start the day only three points behind the Kasasiros.
With only 9 games to play, the Venoms know they cannot afford anymore slip ups if they are to win their first back to back League championships.
However, coming up against traditional giants in Express is set to be complicated and they will need to be careful especially after losing 3-1 at home to Villa a few weeks back.
“We have to try to win the game, especially considering that we are home, said Vipers head coach Nam Ouma ahead of the game.
“We have the obligation to close the gap on KCCA FC and there will be no variation on what we usually do.
“Matches of this importance are always difficult but we know the importance and focused on securing maximum points.
The Venoms have to do without defensive pair of Geofrey Wasswa and Livingstone Mulondo who remain sidelined due to injuries. However Bashir Asiku may take part if selected following his return back to full training after missing the previous five games. Moses Waiswa could return to the starting lineup having missed three league ties against Tooro United, Bright Stars and Onduparaka plus a Uganda cup match with Kiboga Young at the round of 16. Bashir Sekagya remains a long time absentee but Abraham Ndugwa, Duncan Sseninde, and Hamis Kiiza might be drawn into the starting team.
For Express, they are set to be without integral left-back Disan Ggaliwango who is out after accumulating three yellow card. Apart from Ggaliwango, the rest of the team is fully fit and suspension free so head Coach George Ssemwogerere has a reasonable pool of players to choose from. Eric Kambale who returned to fitness in the course of the week is the only other one with question marks on his name after missing Thursday’s last training, under unclear circumstances.
The Red Eagles have been improving steadily under Ssemwogerere and after dubiously failing to beat Vipers in the first leg, they will be confident they can cause an upset at Kitende.
In the first encounter which ended 1-1, Vipers scored a clear off-side equalizer at Wankulukuku, one which led to suspension of three match-officials.
Having won three and drawn one of their five games under Simlala, the six time league winners will indeed pose serious threats to Vipers come game time.
This will be the 18th meeting between Vipers and Express since October 2010.
In the other 17, Vipers have won 10, Express two with the other 7 ending in draws.
Express go into the game winless in their last four games against Vipers (D2 L2).
The reverse fixture last season saw Vipers traunce Express 5-0 at Kitende before a 1-1 draw in the first game this campaign.
Vipers start the day having lost only only one of their last 38 League games (W25 D12).
At home, they have also lost only once in their last 20 games at Kitende (W16 D3).
For Express, they have won only three of their last 10 League fixtures (D3 L4).
Away from home, the Red Eagles have won only two of their last 8 games (D2 L4) with both victories coming in their last two games on the road.
The other games on Friday:
-Mbarara City vs Paidha Black Angels @4:30pm