The Stanbic Uganda Cup final showdown is moving closer and the football fans are guaranteed a treat on Saturday in Bukedea arguably as two top teams in the land go head-to-head.
Both the teams have been preparing tirelessly for this one game, while most other teams have drawn the curtains for the season. Saturday’s match has been hyped up by statements of confidence from players of both sides and also by some others as well.
Let’s take a look at the combined XI of the teams based on their performances in the campaign.
Goalkeeper: Charles Lukwago (KCCA)
There were questions asked when a decision was made to let Benjamin Ochan go but Charles Lukwago has proved his worth.
Arguably the most in form local based goalkeeper, the former Proline man beats Ismail Watenga to the slot.
The Vipers number one’s potential and talent is undoubted but has left a lot to be desired in the past couple of games.
Right Back: Nicholas Wadada (Vipers)
The Vipers captain has been in the business for so long and is a no match for the position.
Wadada’s ability to join attack when his team is in possession and energy levels to track back give him edge over either youngster Filbert Obenchan or Denis Okot who are slightly better defensively.
Left Back: Mustafa Kizza (KCCA)
The competition for the left back spot is really tight. Vipers Yayo Lutimba has been in the business for quite a while and is one of the best in his position domestically as he plays an important role in his team’s attack and is also solid at the back.
However, Mustafa Kizza seems to have an edge over him thanks largely to his pinpoint crosses and numerous assists.
Centre Backs: Timothy Awany (KCCA) and Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers)
Well, this is a no-brainer. Timothy Awany and Halid Lwaliwa are among best defenders in the country and would easily walk straight into any team at the moment.
The KCCA skipper is known for stepping up when his team needs him the most – at both ends of the pitch. And that could be the case on Saturday as well with a potential threat from the Vipers attack lurking added to their defence.
For Lwaliwa, he was the difference against SC Villa in the semi-finals and always enjoys playing against the Kasasiro.
Tough that Bashir Asiku and Geoffrey Wasswa miss out here but again, Lwaliwa and Awany have been in the business for so long.
Midfield: Taddeo Lwanga (Vipers), Sadam Juma (KCCA) and Allan Okello (KCCA)
The former Express FC Captain has had a comparatively silent campaign due to injuries but has been a hit whenever he played.
Sadam Juma has the ability to split any defence with his passing range and that will be key against a well organised Vipers backline.
In addition to Sadam, youngster ‘Special One’ Allan Okello takes another slot in the middle but only playing in the hole behind the main man.
Sadam and Okello are two of the best passers of the ball in the game, and their opponents cannot afford to give them free space or time at any cost.
Invalidate the two midfield maestros and Vipers have a very good chance of winning the tie on the big day.
Meanwhile, nullifying the two midfielders is one of the things the Venoms midfield should focus on this weekend.
In Taddeo Lwanga, they have a player capable of doing so and thus get in the combined team of the two sides.
Lwanga is probably the most consistent from both sides. The old-school anchorman might not be as fancy as his counterparts but surely does know how to get things done on the pitch.
Lawrence Bukenya, Isaac Kirabira, Brian Nkuubi and the injured Muzamiru Mutyaba all miss out on my team ahead of this game but that doesn’t take away what they can offer.
Forwards: Daniel Sserunkuma (Vipers), Milton Karisa (Vipers) and Patrick Kaddu (KCCA)
Daniel Sserunkuma has been a hit since joining the Entebbe Road based club and has scored over 20 goals in the season so far.
Despite his size, Sserunkuma holds up play, has good movement and is a fox in the box when chances come. He is one player capable of winning a game of any magnitude.
Patrick Kaddu has been phenomenal for the former league champions this season in the Cup and has so far scored seven goals.
In the absence of injured Muhammad Shaban and Smouha bound Derrick Nsibambi, the onus is on him to show up just like he dismantled Synergy in the semi-finals with a perfect game. His aerial prowess gives him an edge in my team of Vipers’ Erisa Sekisambu.
It won’t be wrong to call him the best player of the tournament if it is KCCA who take home the trophy from Bukedea.
Milton Karisa’s energy levels and willingness to battle for every ball means he gets in the team ahead of many including the more talented Paul Mucureezi.
Karisa’s game improves each passing day and has proved he can be a good goal grabber as stats suggest.