Azam Uganda Premier League
Mbarara City vs SC Villa
Kakyeka Stadium, Mbarara
SC Villa will be aiming to regain top spot in the Azam Uganda Premie league when they travel to Mbarara City on Saturday.
The Jogoos who have now spent close to a week in second spot after they relinquished it to Vipers have a chance of taking it back with a three goal victory against a side that has not lost a league game by two goals at home this season.
The only time that the Ankole Lions lost a game by two or more goals at the Kakyeka stadium this season was in the 3-0 defeat to Kansai Plascon in the Uganda Cup round of 16 last month.
With all that in mind, Villa visits Mbarara without star play Martin Kizza who is suspended after accumulating three yellow cards. Kizza was booked for the third time in the second round against Vipers.
The tricky winger has been the heart beat of the Villa team especially in the second round of the league, managing seven league goals since January in what is arguably his best ever top flight season.
With Kizza out, the 16 time record league champions will have to look at the duo of Allan kyambadde and George Ssenkaba for inspiration but the former has been somehow inconsistent all season.
Villa’s misery ahead of the game is compounded by the fact that they will be without head coach Wasswa Bbosa who is suspended for four games and is set to begin his touchline ban on Saturday.
Bbosa was found guilty of threatening the referee during and after the 1-0 loss to Vipers in Masaka two weeks ago.
On the touchline, Paul Mukatabala is expected to do his magic as he has been the undisputed number two for Bbosa all season.
“Between me and Bbosa (Wasswa), there is no head coach,” said Mukatabala in a phone interview.
“We treat each other as equals, with respect and anyone of us can do the same job on the bench.
“Of course we would have loved my colleague to be on the bench with us but now that he is not, we have to move on and I’m positive it will not affect out title challenge.
“Our players know what is at stake and we want to keep the focus, especially after not picking any point from our match with Vipers.
“There is a feeling of destiny around us this time and the players are desperate to be part of that fairy tale.
For Mbarara, they have got three former Villa employees in Ali Kimera, Yesseri Waibi and Asuman Alishe who will be eager to prove they still had a future at Villa Park when they were let go of.
The Ankole Lions start the day occupying the third relegation slot but know that victory may see them moved up to 11th if the other results go their way.
They will be relaying on the trio of Emmanuel Obina, Clinton Kamugisha and Makweth Awol to do the required damage.
Head to Head:
This will be only the second meeting between the two sides in over 10 years.
The first meeting this season ended in a 1-0 victory for SC Villa at Masaka with midfielder Yubu Bogere getting the only goal of the game.
Mbarara go into the game in terrible form that has seen them win only one of their last nine games in all competitions (D2 L6). The win came in their last home game against Bright Stars whom they defeated 2-1.
In the league, they have won only one of their last 10 outings (D4 L5).
However, they have so far been impressive at home, losing only two of their 11 games at the Kakyeka stadium. The two loses came against Maroons and Vipers with the later coming in controversial fashion as replays showed Clovis Mbayi’s goal didn’t not cross the white wash.
Mbarara has scored a league low of 13 goals in 25 matches this season but 11 of them have come at home.
At the other end, the Ankole Lions have let in a joint sixth lowest of 20 goals. Only Maroons and the top four have conceded fewer.
Villa go into the game as one of the most inform teams in the country, losing only one of their last eight games in all competitions (W7 D0). The loss was against Vipers at Masaka.
In the league, the Jogoos have been impressive to of late, losing only two of their last 21 games (W14 D5). The two losses suffered came at the hands of the other two teams occupying the top three, both 1-0s.
Villa have conceded only nine goals all season which is the best record in the division. Six of those goals have come away from home which is also the lowest tally by an away side this season.
However, the Jogoos have managed only four victories on the road this season (D5 L2) and have not won three away matches on the trot since they won five between April and May 2015 when they won five.
The Other games to be played on Saturday:
Maroons vs Express FC @Luzira Prisons Grounds, 04:00pm
Kirinya JSS vs Bright Stars @Kyabazinga Stadium, 04:00pm