Derrick Nsibambi Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

2017 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup:

  • Group B (Friday, 8th December)
  • Uganda Cranes Vs South Sudan
  • At Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega (3 p.m)
[/media-credit] Derrick Nsibambi heads in against South Sudan goalkeeper during the last time that the countries faced off Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Council of Eastern and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup record winners Uganda Cranes face South Sudan on Friday in a must win encounter of sorts if the aspirations of attaining the 17th title are anything to go by.

For starters, Uganda Cranes was held to a goal-less draw in the opening match on Monday by Burundi at the same venue.

A headed goal disallowed from defender Timothy Dennis Awany was the most closet moment that Uganda got to break the dead lock.

Against South Sudan, the mighty Uganda Cranes are overwhelming favourites given their status quo and latest FIFA ranking.

Uganda is 74th, sitting a massive 78 slots above South Sudan, who are 152nd of the 2011 FIFA member nations.

[/media-credit] South Sudan line-up vs. Uganda Cranes prior to the return leg of the 2018 CHAN qualifier in Kampala Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

South Sudan, who fell 3-0 to Ethiopia on Tuesday are also out to avoid another defeat that will impact that they officially out of the tournament as Rwanda in group A.

During their match against Ethiopia, the Bright Stars bowed to strikes from Abel Yalew (brace) and Abubakher Sanni.

Uganda Cranes head coach Moses Basena and the rest of the players remain hopeful that they will raise to the occasion against South Sudan and Ethiopia in the final group game on Sunday.

Since the Monday game, there has been ample time for recovery and room to correct what went amess in the opening day.

It remains a secret as per now what kind of team Basena will read out for the match against South Sudan.

However, a close scrutiny at the team in Kakamega could depict one or two changes from the side that started in the first game.

KCCA goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan is expected to maintain his slot in between the goal posts ahead of Tom Ikara and Ismail Watenga.

Vipers skipper Nico Wakiro Wadada and KCCA left back Isaac Muleme will be maintained at right and left defensive roles respectively.

It goes without a saying therefore that the central defensive pairing of Timothy Dennis Awany and team captain Timothy Dennis Awany will be maintained as well.

Amendments could be seen in the midfield. Either Tom Masiko or Ibrahim Saddam Juma will be picked ahead of Tadeo Lwanga in the central defensive midfield role.

Reigning Airtel FUFA footballer of the year Muzamiru Mutyaba will definitely start in the offensive midfield department alongside Allan Kyambadde and Milton Karisa.

Derrick Nsibambi and Allan Kateregga will be also considered.

[/media-credit] Milton Kariisa in action against South Sudan at Lugogo on 22nd July 2017 Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

When the two sides last met a couple of months ago, it was during the qualification for the CHAN 2018 tournament.

The first leg ended goal-less in Juba and Uganda Cranes won 5-1 in the subsequent return leg, a game where Paul Mucureezi scored four times.

Nsibambi was the other scorer in the game before he was stretchered off injured.

Heading to this match, Burundi leads group B with 4 points off two matches. Ethiopia is second with 3 points, Uganda third (one point) and South Sudan is bottom placed with no point so far.

[/media-credit] Paul Mucureezi finishes past South Sudan goalkeeper Khamis Daniel Dak at Lugogo on 22nd July 2017 Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
[/media-credit] Uganda Cranes Coach Moses Basena could maintain a bulk of the players who played against Burundi in the opener Credit: © Kawowo Sports / JOHN BATANUDDE

Probable Uganda Cranes XI Vs South Sudan: Benjamin Ochan (GK), Nico Wakiro Wadada, Isaac Muleme, Timothy Awany, Bernard Muwanga (Captain),  Ibrahim Saddam Juma, Allan Kyambadde, Derrick Nsibambi, Muzamiru Mutyaba, Allan Kateregga and Milton Karisa

Subs: Tom Ikaara (GK), Ismail Watenga (GK), Daniel Isiagi, Aggrey Madoi, Tom Masiko, Joseph  Nsubuga, Shafik Bakaki, Tadeo Lwanga, Nelson Senkatuka, Hood Kaweesa, Paul Mucureezi

Probable South Sudan XI Vs Uganda Cranes: 

South Sudan XI: Khamis Daniel Dak (G.K), Yassir  Khemis Cellestin, Abdu Awad Lemi, Salah Abubakar, David Omot Sebit, Peter Chol Bentiu, Robert Wurube Lopidia, Sebit Ajak Bol, Daniel Oliver Boki, Leon Khamis Uso, James Joseph Saeed

Subs Not used: Joseph Robert Adu (G.K), James Anei Mateil, Emmanuel Thomas Lumari, John Albino, Farouq Tajedin, Joseph Celestino Oyuru,  Stephen John Samson

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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