Ronald Mukiibi (C) celebrating with teammates Credit: Courtesy

Uganda Cranes’ defender Ronald Mukiibi is in the staring IX of Ostersunds FC as the club hosts Arsenal in a last-32 tie of the Europa League tonight.

[/media-credit] Ronald Mukiibi (C) celebrating with teammates Credit: Courtesy

Ostersunds haven’t played a league game since last November as the Swedish season doesn’t start until April and they will hope that three friendlies and a cup win over lower league Telleborgs will got them primed.

Arsenal have lost three of their last five in the Premier League and are sitting eight points behind the top four ahead of kick off at 9:00 pm.

Ostersund’s forward Saman Ghoddos celebrates with teammates (Ronald Mukiibi far right) after scoring during the UEFA Europa League Group J football match between Zorya Lugansk and Ostersunds FK in Lviv on September 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Genya SAVILOV (Photo credit should read GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

The Swedish side are the smallest left in the competition in the first leg of the round of 32 and Mesut Ozil has been beamed to lead the Gunners in the freezing conditions.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is cup-tied because his former club Borrusia Dortmund is also involved in the same competition.

Dream come true

When the draw was made two months ago,  Mukiibi revealed its was a dream come true to face Arsenal.

He described his feeling to theguardian, moments after the occasion at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland.

“I started laughing to myself. I sent messages to the guys while just yelling out. It’s sick,” Mukiibi said.

“We will play the team I’ve followed for my whole life. Who could have predicted it? It’s a dream. It’s about hitting your targets as a football player.

“I had hoped to play for Arsenal at the Emirates, but now I can play against them in the same stadium. Life works in mysterious ways.”

Mukiibi later also said he will seek a moment with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to discuss how he runs the club or even perhaps request for a move to the London giants.

Venue of today’s match between Arsenal and Ostersunds

Players to watch: In the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and injured Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal may rely Danny Welbeck for goals.

With 39 goals in his Ostersunds career to date, Jamie Hopcutt will be desperate to score against his compatriots.

Starting Line ups

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Chambers, Mustafi, Monreal, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Welbeck

Ostersund: Keita, Mukiibi, Papagiannopoulos, Pettersson, Widgren, Edwards, Nouri, Mensah, Sema, Ghoddos, Gero

Deputy Editor at Kawowo Sports. He is an aspiring Sport Psychologist.

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