Friday September 23, 2016
Vipers Vs Express – Nakivubo stadium @ 4pm
Vipers and Express is a peculiar rivalry. It might not be the ‘biggest game’ in the country but it is not as far in pecking order.
It is based on Lawrence Mulindwa being originally an Express fan and the fact that the Red Eagles have lost so many players to the Kitende based side – with Tonny Odur headlining those transfers.
The two teams meet on Friday in the only league game on the day with both seeking a return to winning ways.
Vipers drew one all with JMC Hippos on their last outing while Express were stunned at home by another Jinja side, Bul FC on Tuesday.
“It was our worst performance of the league,” said Vipers’ Abdallah Mubiru. “But we have to move on from that and correct our mistakes in time for the game against Express,” he added.
For the Red Eagles, Coach Alex Gitta blamed the loss on poor officiating and the league break but also faulted his boys for missing chances.
“We were not at our best as we missed chances but the referees were also poor for denying us a clear penalty,” he claimed. “It’s something we have to work on and I am optimistic, we shall put up a better show against Vipers,” he added.
Express’ recent record against Vipers is poor – in the last 8 meetings, going back to 2012, they have won just once. That came last season when goals from Tonny Odur and Ibrahim Kayiwa sunk the Venoms at Wankulukuku.
But Alex Gitta’s side will never have a better chance to beat their rivals, who are seemingly yet to get their season started after failing to win on their attempt.
Vipers missed Tonny Odur against JMC Hippos but he has been declared fit to play. Only Siraje Sentamu and William Wadri remain on the sidelines for the hosts.
Express are without, Mike Mutyaba, Allan Kyambadde and John Semazzi who are on loan from Vipers. Striker Herman Wasswa started on the bench against Bul but he is likely to be recalled to the starting team.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Not many fans have forgotten Tony Odur’s ‘Basiima Ogenze’ message to Express fans when he scored against them while in his first stint at Vipers.
At KCCA, he celebrated with a message ‘Mukisa Gwo’ sending the fans into thoughts and knowing the character he is, he will be eager to get on the score sheet and thus the visitors’ backline must be alert.
The visitors will hope Herman Wasswa dons his scoring boot again given his excellent record against Vipers.
The striker has scored five times against the Kitende and will be motivated to score against his former coaches who wanted to sign him in the window.
- The previous eight league meetings have produced three barren draws. Vipers have won four with only one win for Express.
- Ibrahim Saddam Juma scored Vipers’ only goal against Express last season and so did Ibrahim Kayiwa and Tonny Odur for Express in the reverse fixture. The duo now features for Vipers while Juma is now at Red Eagles.
- All Vipers’ wins against Express in the previous eight meetings have come at home.
- Vipers are 4th on the table with 9 points (2 wins, 3 draws) while Express are 6th with 8 points (2 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss).
Ismail Watenga (GK), Nicholas Wadada (C), Dan Birikwalira, Halid Lwaliwa, Shafik Bakaki, Deus Bukenya, Kezironi Kizito, Ibrahim Kayiwa, Erisa Ssekisambu, Tonny Odur and Joseph Semujju
Ali Kiggundu (GK), Musa Mukasa, Ismail Kazibwe, Bob Kasozi, Farouk Matovu, Derrick Tekkwo, Richard Kigozi, Saddam Ibrahim Juma, Mahad Kakooza, Herman Wasswa and Yaffesi Mubiru.