Mbarara University (MUST) vs University of Kisubi
Kabale University vs Kyambogo University
Kampala International University (KIU) coach Akabwai Geoffrey believes that this Pepsi University Football League season will be even more competitive than before due to the changes in the competition format. The league was expanded to 20 teams this season from 16.
The 20 teams pooled in 5 groups of 4 teams –with only the top team in each group guaranteed a slot in the knockout stage. The three best second placed teams also progress to the knockout stage.
“The new competition format is tricky and challenging. On the positive side, it will improve on the competitiveness of the league and is a wakeup call for teams to be serious from onset since we shall be fighting for one slot in each group,” said Akabwai, who captained KIU for 4 seasons from 2012 to 2015.
He believes that his side can finish at the top of the group in spite of it having UCU the current champions and KIU.
“Ours is a difficult group but I think we can make it through. We have played all the teams in our group before (UCU, IUIU and Kumi) and are familiar with their style of play. We simply have to be focused and ensure we win all our games at home and lose no points away still,” Akabwai added.
KIU begin their campaign with a trip to Kumi University and Akabwai is keen to pick up from where they left last season. “Last season, we beat Kumi at their home 2-1 and I believe we shall be able to do so again on Thursday. We are well prepared and geared up for the season and the boys are excited to be playing. Our focus is to first of all make it out of the group stage and thereafter return to Namboole for the final,” Akabwai said.
Kampala International University (KIU) are a pioneer team in the Pepsi University Football League (UFL) having played since the inaugural season in 2012. Their best performance was reaching the Third Place Playoff in 2014 where they lost to Nkumba University.
They have since struggled and have failed to make it out of the group stage in the last two seasons. It is the third time the two sides face off with each winning once. KIU beat Kumi 2-1 and lost 3-2 in 2019 season.