- CAF Confederation Cup First Round, First Leg
- Saturday, March 11
- Vipers SC (Uganda) vs. Platinum Stars (RSA) – St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende @ 4:00pm
Vipers’ first continental first round game in history sees them at home to South Africa’s Platinum Stars, seeking to take a first leg advantage and move a step closer to a first appearance in the group stages.
The Venoms were eliminated at the preliminary round in their first quest for continental glory last year, by Nigeria’s Enyimba in the CAF Champions League but overcame Comoros’ Volcan de Moroni on away goals rule.
Going into the game against the South Africans, Vipers are buoyed by not only a new stadium but also another member on the coaching staff, Portuguese Jorge Miguel Costa Duarte.
The 37 year old who takes charge of his first game at the club already sounds confident of nicking an important result after holding just two training sessions with his boys.
“What I see is this team can beat everyone,” he told the press after training on Thursday. “But there are some issues in their game though we are here to try to correct them,” he added.
What we want is to continue working and am impressed the boys are working hard, trying to learn very fast and probably, we shall have a nice weekend against Platinum Stars.
For the visiting side’s coach Cavin Johnson, the mission is to try as much as possible to get a good result and finish off the job at home next week.
“We are going out there and to do our best,” he said. “We are going to play the best football as we can and try display the best brand for South African football going forward. As far as preparations are concerned, we looked at a lot of their games,” he added.
Johnson, who seemed to have done a lot of home work on the Vipers wonders whether the opponents will have changed much in the style he knows with their new coach in charge.
They have also changed their coach a few days ago. They have got a new coach. We don’t know if they are going to respond positively. We have information on our opponents. We know who their key players are, where they play and how they play. It’s not like they are a closed book. We are just going to take them with our technical ability. We are prepared.
The Dikwena reached this stage after beating Mozambican side Uniao do Songo 2-0 on aggregate while Vipers needed a Deus Bukenya goal to eliminate Moroni.
The hosts are set to miss the services of left back Aggrey Madoi who hasn’t trained with the team since losing his father at the start of the week.
Mike Sserumaga is back in contention after missing the return leg in Moroni last month and may be given a starting nod in the squad for his experience and quality will be vital.
Meanwhile, the visitors have kept almost everything close to the chest but information available is that they arrive less than 24 hours to the game.
Vipers Probable XI:
Ismail Watenga (GK), Nicholas Wadada ©, Dan Birikwalira, Shafik Bakaki, Halid Lwaliwa, Siraje Sentamu, Deus Bukenya, Moses Waiswa, Tony Odur, Milton Karisa and Erisa Ssekisambu.