Sunday, September 17
*UPDF FC vs URA, Bombo Barracks Ground – 3pm
*Wakiso Giants vs Maroons, Kabaka Kyabaggu 3pm
*Arua Hill vs Busoga United, Paridi Ground 4PM
*Gaddafi FC vs Vipers, Gaddafi Arena 4PM
- Gaddafi new signings in Najib Tusaba, Sharif Ssengendo, Baker Buyala are in contention for their debut.
- Goalkeeper Mwambu Denis is in line to mark his debut as well for his new team.
- For Vipers, the club recently the trio of Giancarlo Rodriguez, Luiz Otavio Tinga and Desire Tety
- New signings Patrick Mbowa, left back Richard Matovu, Grant Masiko, David Bagoole are all in line to make their debut.
*Gaddafi – Ssekandi Andrew, Kiyemba Ibrahim, Bithum Douglas, Najib Tusaba, Ochungo Thomas, Sharif Ssengendo, Johnson Odongo, Franco Balabala, Othieno Raymond, Mpaata Rashid, Muhindo Benson
*Vipers – Fabien Mutombora, Grant Masiko, Isa Mubiru, Murushid Juuko, Livingstone Mulondo, Siraje Sentamu, Patrick Mbowa, Bright Anukani, Milton Karisa, Yunus Sentamu, Abubaker Lawal
Preview: Defending Champions Vipers Seek to get off the mark
Defending Champions Vipers will begin their Uganda Premier League title defence with a trip to Gaddafi FC on Sunday.
The Venoms were crowned champions on the last day of the season in what was an epic ending of the UPL that had three teams fighting for the trophy.
But in the end, Vipers won the league title on 53 points, level with second placed KCCA with Villa dropping third.
It was a brilliant ending for Vipers, who were clinching their second League title in a row and their fifth in club history.
In a season they will live to forget, they also went ahead to win a double under the stewardship of Alex Isabirye.
But since then, a lot has changed including the hiring of head coach Leo Neiva who replaced Isabirye, and recent rumours had it that the Brazilian was on his way out of the club.
As they gear up for the first League game, Vipers are already out of the champions League where they were knocked out by Jwaneng Galaxy at the preliminary stages.
Ahead of the first League game, head coach Neiva can’t afford to slip given the growing speculations on his new job.
“It’s a new challenge for us. Yes, there’s pressure of wanting to defend the title but we have to focus on winning our games,” Neiva said.
“Yes we were knocked out of some competitions like the super eight but we were shaping players. Our focus is to win the league and that has to start with Sunday’s game.”
On Sunday against Gaddafi, a couple of new faces at vipers including Patrick Mbowa will most likely be handed their first League start.
But after that disappointing elimination from the champions League, there is some growing pressure on head coach Levia to prove his worth.
And the Gaddafi game will present him the first test in his opening League game for the Kitende based side.
The Venoms will rely more on their ever present players in Yunus Sentamu, Abubakar Lawal and Milton Karisa to search for goals.
On the other hand, the hosts Gaddafi will be starting life under new head coach David Mutono.
Mutono was named the new head coach for Gaddafi replacing Wasswa Bbosa, who has since joined Mbarara City.
There are a lot of new changes at Gaddafi, starting from the technical team all the way to the players.
A couple of players including Sadik Ssekyembe, Latif Kiyemba, Joel Madondo, Alex Kitata among others all left the club.
And now, it will be a new look Gaddafi with Players like Sharif Ssengendo among the new faces at the club.
They finished 13th last season and safety will be the first priority this time round.
But this season, the good news is that they are back at the Gaddafi Arena, moving away from Bugembe and they will be hoping for a strong start against the defending champions having unveiled a new sponsor as well.
Head to Head
•Gaddafi 1-0 Vipers
•Vipers SC 2-0 Gaddafi FC
•Gaddafi 1-3 Vipers
•Vipers SC 2-0 Gaddafi FC