Dan Sserunkuma and Nicholas Kasozi

The 2019-20 Uganda Premier League officially kicks off on Thursday as newcomers Kyetume FC take on Sports Club Villa in the season opener at Mandela National team.

KCCA FC did not face any challenge in claiming last season’s championship with the rest of the chasing pack that had Vipers SC, URA FC and Mbarara City failing to find consistency when it mattered most.

The new campaign promises to be exciting and a tight one, given the transfer business that has happened with all the 16 teams making efforts to beef up their squads.

However, the league can only have one winner at the end of the season and three teams must get relegated.

Kawowo Sports desk has made predictions on which team is likely to win this season’s title.

Vipers starting XI against KCCA in the Super 8 final

Franklin Kaweru (Editor) – Vipers SC

Vipers Sports Club look good overall in terms of personnel and given they will only be engaged in the league and the Cup later on. It is their league to lose.

Ismael Kiyonga (Writer) – Vipers SC

Vipers Sports Club reinstated Edward Golola who knows the team inside out and has been involved in all the three league titles won by the club- two as head coach and one as assistant.

Besides, they have a good squad and the firepower upfront is one any coach would love to have.

KCCA FC still look a threat but losing three key players will have an impact and how far they go in continental competitions will also have an effect on their run.

Another challenger is URA FC but may take long to gel as a team.

KCCA FC’s starting XI against Vipers in the Super 8 final

Edgar Kazibwe (Editor) – KCCA FC

Despite a questionable start with three games in six days, the side has the pedigree to go quite a mile with positive results. The judgement can begin with a couple of games under their sleeves.

With the arrival of Erisa Ssekisambu, Simon Sserunkuma and John Revita plus academy graduates Hassan Jurua, Joseph Kiiza Bukenya, Joseph Kafumbe, Musa Ramathan and Sadat Anaku, the onus will be on the players to prove their worth.

Mike Hillary Mutebi is a seasoned winner whose impact on the squad is barely questionable.

Dennis Musali (Writer) – Vipers SC

Vipers SC have a lot of experience throughout the whole squad. Players that fail outside Uganda normally want to prove something so they will be very pivotal to them winning.

The key point for me is Edward Golola who returns to the team as head coach and understands the dynamics of Ugandan football.

Edward Golola and Lawrence Mulindwa (Photo: John Batanudde)

He will not look for three points in a place like Buhinga when he knows a point is as good as a win. And without continental football distractions, they are surely the team to beat.

Amina Babirye (Photo Journalist) – KCCA FC

Whereas KCCA FC has lost a couple of key players, the replacements seem to have the ability to fill the void.

There can be an assurance of stability in the coaching staff at KCCA FC which is not a guarantee elsewhere when results are not good. For me, this is very important and KCCA FC will beat the rest of the teams on that ground.

Erisa Ssekisambu (Photo: Aisha Nakato)

Aisha Nakato (Photo Journalist) – KCCA FC

KCCA FC still remains the team to beat because they have set the bar so high. They have a big squad which is vital to see them compete across the competitions.

Vipers SC have beefed up their squad and I think they will give KCCA FC a run for their money but the new additions may need time to fit in which could distract them.

Joel Muyita (Writer) – Vipers SC

Unlike last season when Vipers SC signed players that initially were not needed, this time round, the Venoms have been very critical when adding new players.

Muhammad Shaban Credit: Vipers SC

The arrival of Muhammad Shaban and Fahad Bayo definitely brings goals and lessens the burden on Dan Sserunkuma. Not so many defences in the league have the ability to stop these strikers.

John Batanudde (Photo Journalist) – Vipers SC

It is high time the top brass at Vipers SC gave Edward Golola the trust and authority to lead the team because he has always succeeded whenever he is given an opportunity.

He knows the team in and out and I think it will help Vipers SC to win this season’s championship.

David Isabirye (Writer) – Vipers SC

They have a balanced team with quality players in departments. The addition of players like Rashid Toha, Muhammad Shaban, Allay Kayiwa, Paul Willa, Fahad Bayo and Farouk Musisi gives the coaches a wide pool of players to pick from.

If Edward Golola is given the trust by his bosses, he can deliver the league title at St. Mary’s stadium this season.

Sharifah Ramah Namagoba (Writer) – Vipers SC

KCCA FC and Vipers SC have dominated the league for the last seven years and you expect the duopoly to continue this season.

I tip Vipers SC to win this year’s title because of the way they have recruited. Unlike last season when they went for numbers rather than quality, this time they have signed good players and in positions where they struggled.

Having a good striker in Muhammad Shaban joining Dan Sserunkuma makes them lethal upfront and that alone will help them win games and eventually the league title.

Joel Muyita

Joel Muyita is a senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports.

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