StarTimes Uganda premier league
Express vs SC Villa, Wankulukuku (Live -4pm)
URA vs Tooro United, Namboole (4:30pm)
Eleven places separate rivals SC Villa and Express as we head into the StarTimes Uganda premier league match day five.
It is not the position many predicted SC Villa to currently occupy given the ill preparations for the season that involved loss of Villa Park training ground, late registration of players and mysterious administration among others.
The fact however, is that the record 16-time Uganda champions are at the summit of table standings with seven points after four matches, two goals better than second placed Wakiso Giants.
Express meanwhile are trailing SC Villa by three points after four games in 12th place with a two-goal deficit. As the two faded giants clash this Friday afternoon at the Betway Muteesa II stadium in Wankulukuku in a live TV match, the positions less determine the favorite.
The Betway-sponsored six-time Uganda champions head into the fixture at the back of a 3-2 win at Mbarara City –which was the Red Eagles’ first win of the season after losing twice and drawing once prior.
The victory got head Coach George Ssemwogerere off the fans’ hook and skipper Disan Galiwango believes they are to see off the Edward Kaziba side.
“We worked as a team against Mbarara City and I request fans to be patient. We shall lift this team to where it is supposed to be,” noted the left back who was the Man of the match against Mbarara City, having contributed to all the three goals.
Express will again miss goal keeper Mathias Muwanga and right back Emanuel Baffoe.
Hamdan Nsubuga who was substituted against Mbarara City with a knock is back to battle in-form Abrose Kirya in midfield while winger Frank Ssenyondo is also passed fit following a minor knock. SC Villa has a full squad for choice.
It will be exciting to watch and draw comparisons between exciting youngster Ssenyondo and experienced ‘Old Boy’ Emma Kalyowa who has so far scored twice this season.
Frank Kalanda opened his Express account with the second against the Ankole Lions after returning to Wankulukuku this season but there is still concern for Bashir Mutanda who netted 13 times for Jogoos last season.
The striker grabbed a brace when SC Villa beat the Red Eagles 2-0 at home last season before the sides played to a one-all draw at Wankulukuku. Galiwango scored for Express before Shafik Bakaki haunted his former side with the equalizer.
SC Villa also get into the game on the high after being awarded three points and as many goals from the Proline FC game that was not played after the hosts failed to turn up for the match.
Despite UPL confirming the fixture, Proline had reasoned that they could play honor fixtures on a FIFA gazetted international weekend yet two of their best players Mustafa Mujuzi and Bright Anukani had also traveled with the Uganda Cranes to Nairobi where Uganda drew 1-1 with Kenya. On Proline’s refusal to play, Uganda premier league forwarded the case to the FUFA competitions disciplinary panel that ruled that Proline loses the game by forfeiture and also be docked six points and goals from that already accumulated as well as paying a fine of Shs5m for putting the game into disrepute.
The points by forfeiture moved SC Villa to the top and left Proline at the bottom with negative three points. Express last win against SC Villa came in 2017 at Wankulukuku with Allan Kyambadde scoring the only goal of the game after the break.
FIFA referee Ali Sabila Chelangat will be in charge of the derby and will be assisted by Hakim Mulindwa and Mustafa Mafumu. Brian Nsubuga Miiro is the 4th official while Denis Batte is the match assessor.
Mulindwa is one of the two new (assistant referee) names FUFA proposed for FUFA badges to FIFA for 2020 alongside Emanuel Okudra.