Express team (Credit: John Batanudde)
  • Friday September 10, 2021
  • St. Mary’s stadium, Kitende 4pm

For the first time in more than two decades, Express FC makes a return to the Caf Champions League when they take on Al Merrikh on Friday afternoon.

The Red Eagles who last played in the competition in 1997 host the Sudan side at St. Mary’s stadium, Kitende in the first round of the 2021/22 competition eager to gain first leg advantage.

In 1997, they were eliminated by Zimbabwe’s Caps United 7-6 on aggregate following a 5-2 defeat away and a 4-2 win at Nakivubo stadium at the same stage.

Earlier, they had overcome Tanzania’s Young Africans 1-0 on aggregate.

Coming into the game, the Ugandan champions are in buoyant mood after clinching their maiden Cecafa Kagame Cup last month and will fancy their chances against Al Merrikh who don’t have a frightening record against Ugandan sides.

Wasswa Bbosa

“This is a big game for all of us as a club,” Wasswa Bbosa told the media on the club website.

“Every Express FC fan has been dreaming about returning to the continent and here we are.”

“I can assure that we are ready for Al-Merrikh because we know they are an experienced side especially on the continent but we shall give it our all and try to kill the game from here.”

Team News

Godfrey Lwesibawa missed the last two games in the Cecafa Kagame Cup but is available for selection.

Godfrey Lwesibawa and Enoch Walusimbi will be vital for the RED EAGLES Credit: John Batanudde

Murushid Jjuuko was sent off in the Uganda Cranes draw with Mali but is available for selection for the Red Eagles.

Simon Peter Kirumira has been added to the Red Eagles technical staff as he holds the required coaching qualifications ahead of Bbosa but the latter will be the man literally in charge.

It remains to be seen whether the latest additions; Nicholas Kasozi and Deus Bukenya will be make their debuts.

Key Stats

This will be the third time the two teams meet at continental level after twice facing off in the defunct African Cup Winners Cup.

On both occasions, Al Merrikh eliminated the Red Eagles.

Amil Kamal trains with El Merrikh at Kitende in 2019 Credit: File Photo

Overall, this will be the sixth meeting between the two sides with Al Merrikh picking up four wins compared to Express FC’s one with a draw between both sides.

The Red Eagles’ only win came at Nakivubo beating the Sudan side 2-0 in the return leg of the African Cup Winners Cup.

Express FC Probable XI Mutakubwa (GK), Walusimbi ©, Jjuuko, Lumu, Kiggundu, Eturude, Yaya, Shabena, Lwesibawa, Kambale and Kiiza

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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