UPL Fixture Matchday One
Friday, October 15
*Express Vs Arua Hill – Betway Muteesa II Stadium
*Mbarara City Vs Bright Stars – Kakyeka Stadium
*Onduparaka Vs UPDF – Greenlight Stadium
Sunday, October 17
*Police Vs Vipers – Omondi Stadium
*Wakiso Giants Vs KCCA – Kabaka Kyabaggu Stadium
Monday, October 18
*Gaddafi Vs Busoga United – Kyabazinga Stadium
- Express will be without Godfrey Lwesibawa who is nursing a knee injury. Arthur Kiggundu and Kiragga Mustafa are also ruled out
- Goalkeeper Joel Mutakubwa, Nicholas Kasozi and Joseph Akandwanaho are some of the new signings set for their league debut with Express
- Arua Hill will not be with injured defender Rashid Toha, while Rogers Omedwa, Fred Okot and Bright Vuni have not been included in the travelling team
- Arua Hill Midfielder David Ndihabwe and striker Alfred Leku will be facing their former side.
Red Eagles Target Perfect Start
Express FC will start their title defence at home when they host new league entrants Arua Hill SC at Muteesa II Stadium in Wankulukuku.
The Red Eagles will fancy themselves for a perfect start on Friday and will bank on home advantage which was key as they won their first league title since 2011.
At Wankulukuku last season in the league, Express were unbeaten at home; winning nine and drawing four in 13 games.
They look a far better side on paper having retained a core of players like Eric Kambale that were crucial as the side won the league.
Some new faces like goalkeeper Joel Mutakubwa have seamlessly fitted into the team.
They have played a couple of games ever since the league was halted last season; notably they went on to win their first ever CECAFA title, eliminated out of CAF Champions League and later fell to BUL in Uganda Cup.
“We have corrected our mistakes and the players are ready to go come our league opener on Friday. We have a good record at home and I am positive that we will get a good result,” said Express coach Wasswa Bbosa.
Arua Hill Besiege Wankulukuku With Familiar Faces
The Kongolo are new in the league but almost their entire squad has had top flight experience, including new signing Samuel Ssekamate who scored 12 goals with Bright Stars last season.
Coach Livingston Mbabazi is a respected figure in the football circles having handles sides like Mbarara City, Kyetume, Onduparaka and Wakiso Giants among others.
He showed his commitment and love for this job when he turned down a National team assistant coaching job.
There is a semblance of organisation at the club and the club is heading into the right direction headlined by the stadium which may be in use starting next year around May.
They visit Wankulukuku with two players – David Ndihabwe and Alfred Leku – whose names are well known by most Express FC fans.
Ndihabwe captained Express under coach Douglas Bamweyana while Leku scored the only goal against Masavu as the Red Eagles survived relegation on last day of the 2017/18 season.
“I am happy to go and face my former club, it will be a good challenge and I will not focus on the past because I am now in a new team. I will go all out and defend the badge,” Leku is quoted by Arua Hill media.
Ndihabwe is quoted: “I know that its a good team, I was there but now its history. We respect them as champions but we are prepared them to give them a challenge.”
Express XI – Joel Mutakubwa, Enock Walusimbi, Arthur Kiggundu, Isa Lumu, Murushid Juuko, John Byamukama, Mahad Yaya, Muzamir Mutyaba, Eric Kambale, George Ssenkaaba, Martin Kizza
Arua Hill SC XI – Eric Kibowa, Geriga Atendele, Patrick Matovu, Muhammad Rashid, Ibrahim Magandazi, Faizul Ibrahim, Gaddafi Wahab, David Ndihabwe, Gaddafi Gadinho, Samuel Ssekamate, Ivan Eyam