Saturday, March 18, 2023

Vipers SC Vs Raja Casablanca

St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende | 7pm

Payback time has never meant anything bigger than what many Vipers Sports Club faithful hope for today.

And although not all dreams come true, Vipers will dare to dream differently when they host group leaders Raja Casablanca in a CAF Champions League return leg clash.

The Venoms will have their guns cocked for this big outing as they seek to avenge the huge-margin loss in North Africa and forwith restore dented pride.

Make-up talk

The Moroccans dominated and inflicted a 5-0 painful defeat on Match Day One, but with Alex Isabirye now in charge at Kitende, the Venoms will be keen to show a change in fortunes.

“I am a competitor, I don’t participate, and if you’re a competitor you have to be at your absolute best no matter the situation and the opponent you’re facing,” Isabirye to Vipers Media after the team’s last training session on Friday.

“In the few days I have been here, I have tried to work on improving their confidence, and I know that they are a good group,” he explained.

Different worlds

Raja Casablanca have already progressed to the knockout stages as table-toppers, but Isabirye feels his charges can match their experienced opposites.

“They played the first game, and they know how tough it is to play against Raja, so it is now about us to show that we can be at those levels as well, and I believe we can get a result.”

“To the fans, we need your support. Without you it’s not the same, so please come and back us so that we can win together. The players will bring their best and they will fight for you.”

Sentamu pumped

Vipers’ deputy skipper Siraje Sentamu is also in defiant mood and highlighted the team will fight, nevermind the quality of Raja Casablanca.

“We are playing a giant in this group, that have won all their games, and that proves how good a side they are. But that only works to motivate us to know the kind of opponent we are coming up against,” Sentamu said.

“We played them in the first game at their home ground, and it was really a very bad game for us, but we have to put that behind us now and have our focus on the game tomorrow.”

“It’s a game we want to show how good we are as a team, and I promise we are going to give all our best for the fans and for this club,” he added.

Final attempt

While Raja are top of Group C with a maximum 12 points, Vipers are fourth with one point, but a home victory could ignite a possible fightback into trying to qualify to the next round.

The Venoms remain hopeful.

Team News

Karim Watambala misses out on this tie after aftering an eye problem in our last game against Wakiso Giants on Tuesday.

Frank ‘Zaga’ Tumwesigye is sidelined with a painful ankle injury he suffered during training.

Milton Karisa is still out with a hamstring problem but is hoping to integrate back into light training with the squad soon.

Defender Murushid Juuko, goalkeeper Denis Kiggundu and midfielder Marvin Joseph Youngman remain out.