Villa without Cranes duo ahead of Bul visit

Masaba will want to keep Bul ticking over. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO 

What you need to know:

Masaba may be without skipper George Kasonko and utility player Pascal Ngobi for the Villa duty as they plot for a rare double. 

In a crucial  StarTimes Uganda Premier League game that can hurl SC Villa within one point of log leaders KCCA, they are deprived of two pivotal players - defender Kenneth Ssemakula and playmaker Travis Mutyaba.

Regardless, Jackson Magera's Jogoos remain buoyant of gunning for maximum points against Bul on Tuesday at the Akiibua Stadium-Lira, days after the same side ejected them from the Stanbic Uganda Cup and enjoyed a first leg league victory at Njeru.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since Bul beat Villa 1-0 on March 11, with then coach Alex Isabirye switching allegiance to Vipers, his deputy Simeone Masaba taking over control and the Oil-makers readjusting their season expectations.

Villa is surely getting used to life without Mutyaba since the lad is ever in and out of the team set up forcing Magera to recently implore him to deliver more for his paymasters. 

"His agemates like Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are lifting Arsenal at the biggest stage. This is his time to shine because he knows the game but also knows Villa can thrive without him if he doesn't work hard," Magera told Daily Monitor.

In his absence, attacking forwards Charles Bbaale, David Owori and Charles Kakande have held forte as Villa defied a two-point and two-goal deduction to climb to second on the table on 31 points from 17 matches - four adrift of KCCA who have a game less.

This tie serves as the last of Villa's forced five matches in Lira, and they have managed to beat Maroons, UPDF and Onduparaka and lost to KCCA.

Masaba's day out

Since assuming the Bul role on interim basis, Masaba managed to oust Onduparaka in the Uganda Cup but the sternest test will surface in the league as they seek to improve their third slot and 29 points from 17 matches.

"My job is well cut out. It is a matter of mainitaning  teamwork and motivating the players to increase team work and energy so that we get positive results," he said.

Masaba may be without skipper George Kasonko and utility player Pascal Ngobi for the Villa duty as they plot for a rare double. 

At Luzira Prisons-Ground, Muhammad Ssenfuma's tenth placed Maroons that has raked 22 points from 17 matches will host Arua Hill in an unpredictable battle. Livingston Mbabazi's kongolo are far from impressive this season and sit seventh on the log with 23 points from 15 matches.

StarTimes Uganda Premier League

Tuesday fixtures 

SC Villa vs Bul, 2pm (Akii-Bua Stadium-Lira) 

Maroons vs. Arua Hill, 4pm (Prison Grounds-Luzira)


UPDF 1-0 Soltilo Bright Stars