Saturday, July 27
*Somalia Vs Uganda
Uganda Cranes will officially kick start their campaign to qualify to the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Cameroon when they face Somalia in a game that will be played in Djibouti on Saturday at the Haji Hussein Guled Stadium.
Coach Abdallah Mubiru and his troops will target a first leg advantage before the return leg in Kampala at StarTimes Stadium Lugogo on August 3rd.
If Uganda negotiates past Somalia, they will face winner between South Sudan and Burundi for a ticket to CHAN.
Uganda has played three build up games, call them practice matches, in preparations for this encounter.
The side beat URA FC 1-0, lost by the same scoreline to Kitara select before sharing spoils with Proline FC in a goalless draw at Lugogo. If those games are to go by, here is what we think will be the starting team against Somalia.
This is a no brainer, it’s Charles Lukwago (1). Coach Mubiru will go with the KCCA shot stopper ahead of URA’s Alitho James as the former has already proved his point at all stages.
However, It would have been a different conversation if Wakiso Giants’ Yasin Mugabi made the trip. Mugabi failed to acquire a full International Transfer Certificate (ITC) since his departure from Zambia’s Lusaka Dynamos and that prohibits him to be considered as a locally based player.
Paul Willa (2) and Mustafa Kizza (3) will start at full backs, and are the only available options who look comfortable to play in those positions.
John Revita (4) and Timothy Awany (5) is a match made in heaven here, despite Proline’s being in this national team set up for a while. URA FC’s Paul Mbowa is the other defender on the team but despite his gifted height, his chance to start in centre back will come if any of Revita or Awany is sick. However, there are talks of Awany’s eligibility after news broke the internet of him joining Israel’s Ashdod FC.
This is where actual headache starts.
Taddeo Lwanga (6) is expected to start, but whoever joins him in the middle of the park, remains to be known.
Coach Mubiru has been preferring Tom Masiko (8) for reasons best known to him, however, Saddam Juma, Muzamir Mutyaba or Shafic Kagimu look better options on merit. On the other hand, Masiko gets an advantage that his chemistry with Taddeo, who happens to be a teammate at club level, gives him an added advantage.
The two Allans, Kyambadde (11) and Kayiwa (7), will be deployed at opposite flanks. With Kayiwa playing from the right flank, and he is the only player to score a goal in the three build up games. Also, coach Abdallah Mubiru may prefer to push him a little bit in front to help on the two forwards.
Patrick Kaddu (9) and Allan Okello (10). If you have any better pairing before the game starts, put your hand up!
Dan Mzee Sserunkuma will settle for the bench, but he is someone who you are sure that can create immediate impact anytime he will be introduced, and oh yes, he needs not many chances to bundle home.
However, Coach Mubiru may prefer to reshuffle his midfield and forward line, retaining the same players but assign them different positions as we are aware that SOME of those players can give you almost the same output when played out of positions.
Uganda Cranes Probable XI:
Charles Lukwago (KCCA), Paul Willa (Vipers), Mustafa Kizza (KCCA), John Revita (Express FC), Timothy Awany (KCCA), Taddeo Lwanga (Vipers), Tom Masiko (Vipers), Allan Kyambadde (KCCA), Allan Kayiwa Vipers), Patrick Kaddu (KCCA) & Allan Okello (KCCA FC)