Geoffrey Sserunkuma is on the team to Gabon

AZAM UGANDA PREMIER LEAGUE

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

SC Villa vs Proline, M.N. Stadium-Namboole (4:00 pm) live on Azam TV

Other games all kick off 4.30pm

KCCA vs The Saints, Lugogo

Bright Stars vs Sadolin, Matugga

Express vs Bul, Wankulukuku

JMC Hippos vs Vipers, Bugembe

Kirinya–Jinja SS vs Onduparaka, Kakindu

Police vs Soana, Kavumba

URA vs Lweza, Lugazi

The biggest story as the Azam Uganda Premier League (UPL) went into a break 10 days ago was – without doubt – Onduparaka’s waylay of KCCA; the defending champions falling to a Shaban Muhammed brace in the 2-1 defeat in Arua.

But SC Villa’s failure to win away to Lweza meant KCCA stayed top of the league by a point on nine.

Vipers, URA and Express all made grounds on the reigning champions with victories over Bul, JMC and the Saints, with Onduparaka’s victory their first in topflight football and consequently KCCA’s first defeat in four matches.

KCCA vs The Saints, Lugogo

With the competition returning on Tuesday, September 20, manager Mike Mutebi’s KCCA will be desperate to prove events in Arua were just a blip in their erstwhile perfect start to the campaign. They welcome a Moses Basena-coached Saints equally anxious for points after picking only four from a possible 12. Both teams come into this fixture on the back of defeats but KCCA’s deeper and more resourceful squad hardly gives the Saints points of encouragement. KCCA’s Nigerian import Sulaimon Akinyemi scored twice against the Saints last season and with the midfield player also coming off the bench to grab the consolation against Onduparaka, he will be pushing for a starting slot. Geoffrey Sserunkuma is expected to continue leading the line for the city lads, while Basena will rely on the veteran Godfrey Wakaza for goals. KCCA’s Martin Mpuuga and Lawrence Kasadha are out with injuries.

SC Villa vs Proline, Namboole

If SC Villa’s shyness in front of goal has been hidden from the wider public eye, there will not be a hiding on Tuesday. Their encounter against Proline is the live match of the eight lined up on the day. Coach Deo Sserwadda’s men have so far had a penalty saved and scored only three goals in four games. Villa were again disappointing in the goalless draw at Lweza, a game in which victory would have seen them take the log leadership for the first time this season. Third-placed but level on eight points with second – Vipers – and Express in fourth, Villa now come up against an equally unbeaten Proline side. Sserwadda will, however, be encouraged by his defence, the only one yet to concede after four matches. The coach will look to skipper Mike Sserumaga to craft things up for Villa. However, despite Proline remaining unbeaten, they are also winless in four matches. They will hope to pick their first maximum points at Namboole. But they will have to do it without injured marksman Edrisa Lubega.

URA vs Lweza, Lugazi

If there is a team that will have felt hard-done by the league’s break it will have been URA. The tax collectors broke off the league with a resounding 3-1 victory away at JMC Hippos, which was incidentally their first victory in four attempts. They would have ordinarily wanted to immediately build onto that but for the break. But they have a chance to show they have not lost their touch when they welcome Lweza to Lugazi. Lweza will be buoyed by holding Villa in their previous match but coach Kefa Kisala’s URA will fancy their chances being at home. Kisala will hope Ronald Kigongo, Robert Mukonghteya and Sam Sekitto have their scoring boots on again but will be without Elukhana Nkugwa and Mathias Muwanga. Lweza coach Paddy Kintu will also approach the encounter without his trusted midfield player Moses Ndaula, and Yasin Mugume – all out injured.

Express vs Bul, Wankulukuku

Talking of building momentum, Express must have felt as URA, having edged the Saints 2-1 away in Bombo prior the break. That victory was also coach Alex Gita side’s second of the season, ensuring they closed the gap on leaders KCCA to just a point. But the Red Eagles have an opportunity to build on that as they seek their seventh league title. They welcome a bruised Bul side, fresh from a 1-0 defeat to Vipers. Actually, coach Frank ‘Video’ Anyau’s Bul have hardly hit the ground running, drawing two and losing as many so far. They are third from bottom with just two points. Herman Wasswa will look to add to his two goals for Express while John Ssemazi, scorer in their last match, will hope to conjure up some run.

JMC Hippos vs Vipers, Bugembe

Vipers know they must stick in there amongst the top places if they are to wrest back the title from KCCA. Also the country’s representative in the Caf Confederations Cup, coach Abdallah Mubiru knows very well the importance of raking up points early before the continental games come up early next year. Their season has also been a stop start, winning two and drawing as many. They are, however, the league’s top scorers with seven, and with Erisa Ssekisambu returning to the side with the goals, Mubiru will fancy registering a third victory. JMC Hippos, whose loss of their erstwhile coach James Odoch to URA as Kisala’s assistant ended in a 3-1 defeat to the taxmen, languish at the bottom of the 16-team log with just a point. They know they must start picking up points if they are to avoid a season long relegation skirmish.

Bright Stars vs Sadolin, Matugga

Coach Fred Kajoba’s Bright Stars started their campaign decently, drawing at Vipers and dispatching Onduparaka at home. But they have since lost and drawn their last two, including the 2-2 stalemate at Proline. At seventh and with just four points behind leaders KCCA, there is no cause for alarm in Mwererwe as yet, but these are matches they must win if they are to maintain their mid-table status. They welcome an out-of-sorts Sadolin Paints side, who are yet to pick maximum points and are second from bottom with just two marks. Bright Stars, who have scored five goals against four, will look at Sadolin’s stats and feel encouraged. Sadolin, together with Kirinya-Jinja SS, remain the only sides yet to score in the league. Sadolin have conceded three in four matches.

Kirinya–Jinja SS vs Onduparaka, Kakindu

The story for Jinja-bred sides is hardly encouraging as we head into match day five. Kirinya-Jinja, Bul, Sadolin and JMC Hippos all occupy the bottom four places. Kirinja-Jinja are the ones a place above relegation with just three points from four games and will hope to pick their first victory in topflight football on Tuesday. But they welcome another newcomer and a team high on confidence in Onduparaka. Coach Leo Adraa’s Onduparaka are fresh from upsetting KCCA 2-1 and arrive in Jinja with a swagger. That victory over the reigning champions thrust them up to eighth on five points and marked their first ever victory in the elite league. Onduparaka will hope their captain Shaban Muhammed has his scoring boots on again after the striker struck a double against KCCA. The West Nilers could also hand Caesar Okhuti his second debut after the striker returned on loan from KCCA until the end of the first round.

Police vs Soana, Kavumba

Coach Sam Timbe’s Police ended match day four on an encouraging note after a trying start to the campaign. They picked their first victory away to Sadolin in Jinja, hardly an easy place to go. Those three points saw them leave the relegation zone up to ninth on five points. Timbe will hope veteran striker Anthony Bongole, scorer of the winner against Sadolin and their only goal thus far, fires again. But they come up against a rejuvenated Soana, who have won two matches since signing coach Sam Simbwa. Soana are currently fifth on seven points, just two behind leaders KCCA. Ssimbwa will again look to Emmanuel Kalyowa’s poaching ability to break down the policemen.

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