THE BRIEF: VIPERS SC V AL HILAL CLUB

CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Preliminary Round

November 28, 2020

First Leg: Vipers SC v Al Hilal Club

St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende | 4pm

The stage is set and all eyes will be on Vipers Sports Club, on Saturday evening, when we lock horns with Sudanese outfit Al Hilal Club in the first leg of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League preliminary round.

It will be both an exciting and challenging moment for Vipers’ head coach Fred Kajoba, who will be leading his side for the first time at this grand stage and against a more tested and experienced opponent.

Last team training: The Venoms warm up before being put through their paces at St Mary’s Stadium.

For the Venoms, there is no two ways about it as it will be a ‘do-or-die affair’ as they vividly know that a comfortable home victory will give them the impetus to go further in the elite league ahead of the trip to Sudan next week for the return leg at the Omdurman Stadium.

No excuse

There is hardly no excuse for Kajoba’s side despite lack of competitive games as a result of the delay in resumption of the domestic league. The reigning StarTimes Uganda Premier League champions have done more than ample preparations and are in perfect shape for this anticipated encounter.

“We have been working on quite a lot and we are happy that the team is very positive. The lads are in great shape and beaming with confidence. We are keen to get the best results on Saturday,” says Kajoba.

Attention: Head coach Fred Kajoba and goalkeeping coach Ibrahim Mugisha brief some section of players.

Without a doubt, the Champions League is a tough competition but the Venoms will be boosted by the fact that they’re hosting the first leg at their home and thus must bring out their ‘A’ game and possibly win with a margin of at least more than two goals to stand a chance of advancing to the next qualifying round.

Any result less than victory will prove disastrous in their pursuit for a group stages slot.

Good home record

An upward trajectory is exactly what is needed in this crucial outing against a team whose history in the continent’s elite club competition is credible.

A good confidence boost for the Venoms heading into the fixture is that Vipers have only lost once at home in the Caf club competitions and will hope to bank on this slice of history to push them forward.

Allan Kayiwa controls the ball in the team’s last training session.

This will be the first time Vipers is meeting Al Hilal Omdurman but the second time the former faces a club from the neighbouring nation of Sudan.

Below is how we have fared at home in the preliminary round in previous Caf club engagements.

2016: Caf Confederations Cup
Vipers 1-0 Enyimba FC (Nigeria)

2017: Caf Champions League
Vipers 0-0 Volcan de Moroni (Comoros)

2017: Caf Confederations Cup

Vipers 1-0 Platinum Stars (South Africa)

2018: Caf Champions League
Vipers 1-0 El Merriekh (Sudan)

Vipers 0-2 CS Constantine FC (Algeria)

2018: Caf Champions League

Vipers 0-0 Club Sportif Sfaxien (Tunisia)

Team News:

Venoms coach Fred Kajoba has a fit and raring healthy pool of players to choose from for his Match Day Squad as there are no injury concerns.

The tactician will unleash Congolese import Ceasar Manzoki Lobi, who will also be making his debut, in the Venoms colours since joining last month from AS Vita.

Rashid Toha, Livingstone Mulondo and Mohammed Shaban, who missed last season’s action due to injuries are all back, will be available for selection and are likely to have a decisive say in the match on Saturday.

Copyright 2020 Vipers Sports Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.viperssc.co.ug as the source.

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