Their journey to make history in qualifying for the group stages for the first time in Vipers SC history begins tomorrow when they face off with Sudan powerhouse Al Hilal Omdurman at the St . Mary’s stadium Kitende.
Head coach Fred Kajoba clearly knows what is needed of him and his boys if they are to upset the odds.
Nothing but a decent victory at home is expected of them if they are to sail in the deep waters with Africa’s elites in the group stages of biggest competition of African football.
HOW THEY MAY LINE UP
He is the undisputed number one at Vipers SC. The Birundi international commands a great deal of presence between the sticks thanks to his gigantic build. Among his deputies, only Bashir Sekagya comes close as compared to 3rd choice Denis Kiggundu.
He has gained priceless experience from his time with the national team. A preferred starter for the CHAN Cranes, Willa is expected to provide the desired defensive work and as well contribute going forward with his lung busting runs.
His big money move from Express FC was surrounded with a lot of controversy but Vipers finally secured their man following a tag of war between former employers Express FC and Vipers SC. His ability to drift forward and forth when needed to defend is top notch. In the absence of Aziz Kayondo who is on national duty with the U-20s in Tanzania, Galiwango remains the obvious choice at left back.
Another leader on the team. Wasswa will partner Halid Lwaliwa at the heart of defence. A willy runner and a decent ball player are some of the attributes that give him the nod over Bashir Asiku his immediate competitor.
Fresh from impressing for the Cranes against Sudan, the most reliable defender in Vipers armory will automatically start at center back bar a late fitness hitch. His defensive organisation and command will have to be at it’s best if Vipers are to get a decent result.
The departure of Taddeo Lwanga created a vacuum in Vipers’ defensive midfield area and the return of Siraje from URA was inevitable. Such games like this one are reasons why he was lured to make a U-turn.
Endowed with pace, trickery and some silky skill set, Bagoole was signed for games of this calibre. He has a knack of creating something out of nothing on his day.
Abdul Karim Watambala.
Star on the rise. Beaming with confidence following his great debut with the senior national team, the diminutive midfielder will be expected to keep the Al Hilal midfield on tenterhooks. His ferocious long range shot and quick movement gives him a nod over any other Vipers forwards .
Fred Kajoba may surprise a few by naming the former Masavu FC hitman in the starting line up to face Al Hilal. One of the fittest players currently on the team, Ndugwa also posses a woo factor, greater understanding of the game and a big footballing brain which are very imperative attributes at this stage. He maybe considered ahead of new signing Jamil Kaliisa.
He has been there and done it on the continent. He scored the first ever witnessed goal at the St. Mary’s stadium in a CAF champions league match against South Africa’s Platinum stars. Bags of international exposure and experience qualify him as an assured starter for Fred Kajoba’s team.
Ceaser Manzoki Lobi
Vipers’ relationship with big Congolese center forwards is not about to end. After the flopping of Clovis Mbayi, Manzoki will be expected to mend the damage left by his fellow country man.
Having featured for continental powerhouses AS Vita before, the new recruit will surely start ahead Dan Mzee Serunkuma.
THE WILD CARD
The former Mbarara City winger maybe Kajoba’s secret weapon. He has overtaken Allan Kayiwa and Paul Mucurezi in the pecking order. Orit’s graft, pace and directness gives the team some extra dimension especially when they want to move things forward quickly.