After the opening day defeat of StarTimes Uganda premier League champions Express FC by newly promoted Arua Hill SC on Friday, action continues with two expected challengers stepping up for their first games of the season.
KCCA FC and Vipers SC were dominant in the previous decade, sharing eight of the 10 trophies between 2010 and 2020, and they are once again expected to be in the thick of the title race this season.
They both finished outside the top two for the 2020/2021 season, Vipers finishing third – two points behind the champions, while KCCA scrambled to fourth position – 10 points off top spot.
The Venoms start their league campaign away to Police FC at the MTN Omondi Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on Sanyuka TV with kick off scheduled for 3:00 PM (1500 EAT).
The game will see Vipers’ new Brazilian coach Roberto Oliveira Robertinho take charge of his first league game for the club.
Robertinho’s first 51 days in charge of the club have already him collect his first piece of silverware for the Venoms after he oversaw a remarkable 8-1 victory over BUL Bidco FC in the Uganda Cup.
Vipers’ road to the final saw them overcome Police in the semi-final as they brandished some exciting piece of attacking football that might become a feature under the Brazilian and one that has already got club president Dr Lawrence Mulindwa bubbling with excitement.
Sunday’s match up between the two reawakens what is fast becoming a hotly contested rivalry between the two clubs.
Their last clash in the league was one that left the Cops with a sour mouth and even got club chairman Asan Kasingye suspended for six months for indecent conduct.
The issue of discontent involved a ridiculous red card handed to goalkeeper Derrick Ochan after he was deemed to have handled the ball from outside his area. Down to 10 men, Police eventually lost 3-2.
Abdallah Mubiru’s men will still carry bitter moments from the game and will want to induce their own dose of revenge to Vipers when they come visiting.
The Cops have lost all five of their games against Vipers since winning back-to-back victories in 2017, and that statistic fuels the need for Mubiru and Police to end that run.
Both teams strengthened significantly during the transfer window. Robertinho’s arrival was followed by the addition of attacking midfielder Bright Anukani from Proline FC, teenage goalkeeper Jack Komakech and recently Angolan Nelione Jose Tavares.
Police were the busier of the two sides, seeing a return of Juma Balinya to the club alongside exciting youngster Isaac Kiberu, Arafat Kakonge and Timothy Muwanguzi among others.
Captain Tony Mawejje decided to stay for the final year of his contract, Samuel Kayongo returns after a season out with injury, while Duncan Sseninde and Johnson Odong possess some of the best creative brains in the league.
Meanwhile, Morley Byekwaso will start his tenure as the permanent manager at KCCA with a trip to the Kabaka Kyabaggu Stadium in Wakiso.
Byekwaso was handed a three-year contract as the club tries to chase their first league title since 2019.
Byekwaso was handed the right to mould his own squad and backed in the transfers of Brian Majwega, Geoffrey Wasswa, Emmanuel Wasswa, Davis Kasirye, Yasser Mugerwa and Benjamin Ochan even though that meant that academy graduates had to leave the club.
Ochan, returning to the club has been handed the captain’s arm band and will be deputised by Denis Iguma.
There was not much transfer movement from Wakiso Giants, but the Purple Sharks were smart enough to know the value of keeping coach Douglas Bamweyana.
The Purple Sharks recovered from an awful start finish ninth, 13 points clear of trouble last season.
Moses Aliro is in line to face his former team if he is selected for the game on Sunday, and what a story it will be should he inspire Wakiso’s first victory over the Kasasiro Boys.
The third game sees Gadaffi Fc become the 138th club to feature in the Uganda Premier League when they host Busoga United at the Gadaffi Arena.