First Leg: Vipers SC v Al Hilal Club
St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende | 4pm
Kampala, Uganda | VIPERS SC | The stage is set and all eyes will be on Vipers Sports Club on Saturday evening when they lock horns with Sudanese outfit Al Hilal Club in the first leg of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League preliminary round.
It will be both an exciting and challenging moment for Vipers’ head coach Fred Kajoba, who will be leading his side for the first time at this grand stage and against a more tested and experienced opponent.
For the Venoms, there is no two ways about it as it will be a ‘do-or-die affair’ as they vividly know that a comfortable home victory will give them the impetus to go further in the elite league ahead of the trip to Sudan next week for the return leg at the Omdurman Stadium.
There is hardly no excuse for Kajoba’s side despite lack of competitive games as a result of the delay in resumption of the domestic league. The reigning StarTimes Uganda Premier League champions have done more than ample preparations and are in perfect shape for this anticipated encounter.
“We have been working on quite a lot and we are happy that the team is very positive. The lads are in great shape and beaming with confidence. We are keen to get the best results on Saturday,” says Kajoba.
Without a doubt, the Champions League is a tough competition but the Venoms will be boosted by the fact that they’re hosting the first leg at their home and thus must bring out their ‘A’ game and possibly win with a margin of at least more than two goals to stand a chance of advancing to the next qualifying round.
Any result less than victory will prove disastrous in their pursuit for a group stages slot.
An upward trajectory is exactly what is needed in this crucial outing against a team whose history in the continent’s elite club competition is credible.
A good confidence boost for the Venoms heading into the fixture is that Vipers have only lost once at home in the CAF club competitions and will hope to bank on this slice of history to push them forward.
This will be the first time Vipers is meeting Al Hilal Omdurman but the second time the former faces a club from the neighbouring nation of Sudan.
Venoms coach Fred Kajoba has a fit and raring healthy pool of players to choose from for his match day squad as there are no injury concerns.
The tactician will unleash Congolese import Ceasar Manzoki Lobi, who will also be making his debut in the Venoms colors since joining last month from AS Vita.
Rashid Toha, Livingstone Mulondo and Mohammed Shaban, who missed last season’s action due to injuries are all back, will be available for selection and are likely to have a decisive say in the match on Saturday.