Its just hours to the big match that might shape Vipers season. The Kitende based side is in Tunisia to face CS Sfaxien with 90 minutes away to CAF Confederation group stages.
Coach Michael Nam Ouma and his assistant Edward Golola will have the toughest task to field the best eleven on the day, hope no invisible hand will intervene – pun intended.
With just 17 players at the disposal, there seems no room for rotation and this might make their task a bit simpler.
Vipers may choose a 4-2-3-1 which is a simplified version of 4-5-1, but this will depend on how conservative Ouma is on the road.
The coaches will be seeking to put out the best team that is expected to give their all against the Juventus of Africa. Here is my probable lineup:
Fabien Mutombora is the club’s first choice and the Congolese is expected to get a first notch over Derrick Ochan who impressed against El Merreikh.
Expect four at the back, unless Ouma decides to surprise Sfaxien and himself of course.
The only tussle here is who starts at right back between Bashir Asiku and Ibrahim Kiyemba: fired coach Javier Martinez was a huge fan of Asiku but Kiyemba has proved many doubters wrong and he is been a regular fixture in Ouma’s team. Asiku’s love for adventure, and his failure to track back which creates leakages at the back, makes him a second choice here.
On the left, Aggrey Madoi’s place is guaranteed for the fact that Yayo Lutimba is suspended.
Halid Lwaliwa made the trip despite limping off in the club’s last two games, if fit, he will pair with Livingston Mulondo in centre back. Geoffrey Wasswa can be an option at the back but he is yet to disappoint in the middle of the park.
Wasswa and Captain Taddeo Lwanga will sit in, one will curtain raise the defence when the other decides to go forward.
With none of the Wafulas making the trip, innocent ineligible and Noah dropped, Abraham Ndugwa may be thrown out there. If Kansai Plascon was his test, I can guarantee that he passed it with flying colours. His knack for good goals and the ability to open up spaces may serve as an added advantage.
Moses Waiswa’s place is guaranteed despite recent slump in form, and Brian Nkuubi looked a better option when he replaced the Airtel best player of the year, against Onduparaka in Kitende. Nkuubi was rested against Kansai Plascon, the coach might be having a big plan for him in Tunisia, but nonetheless, it might be a big gamble.
Tito Okello is another favourite to start, his sharpness inside the box has raised questions but aerial prowess may be an edge over the rest of the players. He will be pushed back to the midfield (the three attacking midfielders) as the coach is expected to use the template used against Onduparaka.
Dan Mzee Sserunkuma will lead the front, but he prefers to dash from the flanks if we are to go with his last games. He will be needed as a a target man especially against an Arabic team that will not give Vipers many chances.
Team in Summary:
Fabien Mutombora – Ibrahim Kiyemba, Aggrey Madoi, Livingston Mulondo, Halid Lwaliwa – Geoffrey Wasswa, Taddeo Lwanga – Moses Waiswa, Tito Okello, Abraham Ndugwa – Dan Sserunkuma.
Derrick Ochan, Bashir Asiku, Tom Masiko, Duncan Sseninde, Brian Nkuubi, Steven Mukwala