On Wednesday, Vipers coach Fred Kajoba clocked 52 years. He had no time to rejoice.
The decisive phase of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League is upon us.
The reigning champions visit KCCA on Sunday, then host leaders URA and then travel to record winners SC Villa next week.
Of the top three – URA (47 points), Vipers (46) and Express (43) – Kajoba has the tougher title run-in with nine games to play.
“I will treat those games against KCCA, URA and Villa in the same way I have handled UPDF (in the Stanbic Uganda Cup),” Kajoba says.
“We are the highest scoring team in the league (47 goals in 21 matches just like Police) and I must admit I fear no one.”
After the next three, the Venoms face Mbarara City and the league’s in-form side Solitilo Bright Stars, who are unbeaten in five, winning four.
As the league returns from a 10-day hiatus, Sam Ssimbwa’s URA have to a chance to open up a four-point lead with victory over free-falling Onduparaka.
The visitors to Ndejje today have lost four in a row and lie 12th on 24 points, just five above the drop zone.
URA camped in Ndejje for their Uganda Cup tie with Express. The Red Eagles knocked them out at the round of 16 but they aren’t moving anytime soon.
“We have been in camp that has helped our team bondage. If need be, we shall do it again for all tough matches,” Ssimbwa vows.
After Onduparaka, they face Vipers, Police, Kyetume, UPDF, Kitara, Wakiso Giants and Myda. Some of these could be relegated by then making them softer games.
“We plan to win the four home matches and at least three away ties to wrap up the title,” asserts Ssimbwa, a league winning coach with Express in 2012.
The recent victory at Vipers, ensured that Express aren’t out the title reckoning yet.
The form of striker Eric Kambale has kept coach Wasswa Bbosa ticking the right boxes to stay in the frame for a league and cup double.
After tomorrow’s game against Police, Bbosa will face two sides – Kyetume and Busoga United – fighting for their life over the next four games.
“We are ready to push up to the end,” Bbosa promises.
In reversed roles, Morley Byekwaso’s KCCA still has a central role to play in the title destiny.
After losing twice against URA, the 13-time champions have a chance to avenge Vipers earlier 1-0 loss at Kitende.
They also face Express in the last league game on June 30. In fourth and 10 points off the mark, the Kasasiro boys still hold the slimmest of chances.
Besides KCCA, Abdallah Mubiru’s, in fitfth on 37 points, still have a bone to grind with Vipers and URA that beat them in the first round.
VIPERS LAST MATCHES
Sunday: KCCA vs. Vipers
Wednesday: Vipers vs. URA
May 15: Villa vs. Vipers
May 18: Vipers vs. Mbarara City
May 21: Bright Stars vs. Vipers
June 19: Vipers vs. Onduparaka
June 22: Bul vs. Vipers
June 26: Police vs. Vipers
June 30: Vipers vs. Kyetume
UGANDA PREMIER LEAGUE
Today’s Fixtures - 4PM
URA vs. Onduparaka, Ndejje
Myda vs. Kyetume, Tororo
Wakiso vs. UPDF, Wakisha
(LIVE ON SANYUKA TV)