Vipers will travel to Kavumba in Wakiso District on Tuesday aware that anything less than victory could see KCCA get out of sight in the race for the 2016 Azam Uganda Premier League (UPL) title.
The reigning champions face a Police side equally desperate for points. Vipers’ fortunes hardly look grim when you glance at the table standings.
Coach George Nsimbe’s men are level on 35 points with second-placed Express, and six adrift of leaders KCCA, who travel to Bright Stars on the same day.
Even more encouragingly for Vipers, they have a game in hand, which if won, would bring them within just three points of KCCA.
Coach Sam Timbe’s Police on the other hand are seventh with 32 points but have played two more matches than Vipers.
Yet both Vipers and Police have endured mixed fortunes in their last five matches that have seen KCCA stretch the lead on the former in the title rush and the latter slump down the table.
Vipers have picked only seven points from a possible 15 in their last five, losing twice to Express and Lweza, beating Simba and scoring late to rescue a point against Villa last Friday.
Relatedly, Police have managed just six points from a possible 15 in their last five, winning twice over SCVU and Bul, and losing to URA, JMC Hippos and their latest, a defeat to KCCA last Saturday.
Both will be desperate to correct the sequence when they clash at Kavumba. And for Vipers, on top of ensuring KCCA remain in sight, they will be intent on avenging a 3-1 first round defeat top the Cops.
“This game is equally important like any other,” coach Nsimbe told the club website, “We must balance both the attack and defense to get maximum points.”
Nsimbe, who will hope Erisa Ssekisambu and Saddam Juma get to the scoresheet as they did against Villa, welcomes back Halid Lwaliwa.
The defender missed the stalemate against Villa while away on international duty in Rwanda with the U-20s.
Police forward Steven Mugisha, who came from the bench to score a late winner in the Cops 3-2 victory over Bul – his first for the club since transferring from Entebbe -, is vowing to fight on.
“The win over Bul improved our standings and boosted our morale but then lost to KCCA,” Mugisha told the league’s official website, “But as players, we shall keep fighting till the end.”
Tuesday fixtures -4pm
Bright vs Stars KCCA @ Matugga
BUL vs Express @ Kakindu
Lweza vs Saints @ Wankulukuku
Maroons vsJMC @ Luzira Prisons
SCVU vs Sadolin @ Namboole
URA vs Simba @ Metha, Lugazi
Police vs Vipers @ Kavumba