By Shafic Kiyaga and Peter Tabu
Top spot is up for grabs at St. Mary’s Stadium Kitende on Saturday as KCCA FC visit defending champions SC Vipers in arguably the biggest fixture of the season to date.
The Venoms lead the StarTimes Uganda Premier League table with 13 points, two more than their opponents after five matches.
Having won two on the bounce, the Kasasiro Boys momentum seems to have dried up, drawing at home with Mbarara City on Wednesday.
But Mike Mutebi is optimistic.
“This is a big game; the biggest there is in the country and I expect my players to approach it with the biggest mentality. I demand they put on a dominating performance and get nothing less than a win,” Mutebi said ahead of the game. “But I expect it to be a good and competitive game of football.”
Rather ominously for their title rivals, it has taken Vipers just five games of the season to move to the top of the league pile, having dropped two points in just one of their matches so far.
That came in a 2-2 draw against Kirinya Jinja SS last time out.
With a league high nine goals scored and just four conceded, Javier Martinez’s Vipers now have a great chance to strike a major psychological blow on a side that many have tipped to be their closest challengers this term by moving five points clear of them at the summit.
The Venoms, though lost 1-0 against KCCA in the Super Cup and again in the Uganda Super Cup final.
Mutyaba set to return
KCCA are hopeful of having Vipers legend and former captain Sulaiman ‘Mike’ Mutyaba back in their squad for Saturday’s top of the table Uganda Premier League clash.
Mutyaba limped off during their win against Bright Stars on Tuesday, October 23, five minutes after coming on as a second half substitute.
Coach Mike Mutebi will also keep faith with the front partnership of Allan Okello and Patrick Kaddu while Saddam Juma, Muzamir Mutyaba and Shabban Nunda will be charged with supporting the front men. But they will miss the services of youngster Hassan Jurua who is suspended after seeing red against Mbarara city on Tuesday.
However, no player boasts an attacking threat and potent as Vipers’ striker Dan ‘Mzeei’ Sserunkuuma.
Last season’s top scorer has already hit the ground running this season with three goals from of five matches. Though not as prolific as last season, Mzeei has over 20 goals in a Vipers shirt since his move in January and he remains one of the first names on Martinez’s team sheet.
Rahmat Senfuka is also in contention to retain his starting spot for this game, replacing captain Taddeo Lwanga who is also serving a three-game suspension for a direct red card he received after a nasty foul on SC Villa midfielder Albert Mugisa.
Both sides have met a total 17 times with Vipers having the lion’s share of nine wins while KCCA have won just five times.
The last two league meetings have seen nine goals scored as Vipers followed up a 3-1 away defeat with a 3-2 home reverse.