Jogoos clamour for Ngonde's spark in Luzira gallows

Elvis Ngondwe has hit the ground running at SC Villa. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

Returning defender Gavin Kizito Mugweri is expected to sharpen the SC Villa backline that at times stood at sixes and sevens against Kitara.

Given an option, many SC Villa fans would have postponed the prospect of facing red hot Maroons in the second game of the season.

First, because this Sunday's StarTimes Uganda Premier League duel will be played inside the Luzira Prisons Grounds where the Jogoos' title bid was mercilessly  inflated 1-0 by Maroons towards the tail end of last season.

Secondly, their chief tormentor on that sunny afternoon in May, Darius Ojok, has just celebrated a well-taken brace as Maroons whitewashed Wakiso Giants 3-0  at Kabaka Kyabaggu Stadium last Sunday.

Villa coach Dusan Stojanovic promised to build on the few positives accrued from their 2-1 shock loss to new league entrants Kitara last week at Wankulukuku. 

Without doubt, new signing Elvis Ngonde, played out of position due to numerous injuries at the club, must have had the Serb licking his lips.

Ngonde who?

Left-sided midfielder Ngonde was barely a month old at Villa nine days ago when he combined playing as a makeshift left-back with the creative role that resulted into Charles Lwanga's consolation goal.

Purists singled out the former Gaddafi deft dribbling midfielder for playing his debut match like a man who has been at the club for years.

Covering for injured left wingers Umar Lutalo and Joseph Kafumbe, Ngonde went through the gears to drive Villa forward with influential displays that will prompt the Serbian tactician to employ him in  his natural midfield attacking position where he is more lethal and impactful.

Interestingly, Ngonde's capture last month attracted less fuss but after dropping in the midfield on numerous occasions to collect possession, thread passes into the path of team-mates and setting up Lwanga's goal, the safe bet is on him to catapult Villa to their first win this season.

Expect another upset

Muhammad Ssenfuma's Maroons are still talk of town for finishing sixth on the log following a disastrous first round in which he almost lost his job.

"We respect Villa but we can boldly tell them we have planned to win like it was last time.

"Their new coach (Stojanovic) wants to play attacking football unlike his predecessor Jackson Magera who wanted to build from the back. They have found us in good spirits to take them on," Ssenfuma told Sunday Monitor.

After making a few additions to his squad in the transfer  market that included Hannington Ssebwalunyo, Dennis Rukundo, Derrick Rukundo, Jackson Nunda and Baden Mujaheden, Maroons want to better their sixth place milestone this time round.

"Ojok (reigning league  young player of the year) has blossomed so fast that we can now rely on him for goals and assists.

"We are not putting too much expectations on his young shoulders but we believe he can be crucial for big matches like the Villa tie," Ssenfuma stressed.

Villa glaring flaws

Returning defender Gavin Kizito Mugweri is expected to sharpen the SC Villa backline that at times stood at sixes and sevens against Kitara.

While Stojanovic is expected to give midfielder Ivan Sserubiri a chance in the middle of the park to increase on the team's creativity that lacked with Hamza Mulambuzi and Hamis Ssemugera.

Stojanovic's biggest selection dilemma is reserved between posts where he has to decide on custodians Medi Kibirige, Norman Angufidru and Jones Wokorach on who deserves the first-choice  gloves.