KAMPALA- Today is the last push for Russia 2018 Fifa World Cup qualification with Egypt, Nigeria and Senegal having already claimed three of the five African slots so far.
That Egypt already clinched top spot in Group E means Uganda’s final push away in Congo today can only move them to 11 points in second place.
However, with advantages like ranking and seeding that may come with finishing second in a group that also has Ghana and Congo, coach Moses Basena and his boys are vowing to end the campaign on a high.
“Like I said,” Basena told Sunday Monitor before the trip to Brazzaville, the Congolese capital, “This being a World Cup game, it’s important for everybody.
Good account of ourselves
“It helps our CVs, for me personally as a coach, for the players. We shall give a good account of ourselves and try to finish as strongly as we can.”
With 13 out of the 20 players Basena took to Congo playing in the Uganda Premier League (UPL), this game provides a chance to more local based stars to play at this level.This will also give the coaching staff and players alike a glimpse into what the near future looks like, with Cecafa and Chan around the corner.
However, it should not be forgotten that Uganda are yet to beat the hosts in Congo.
The Cranes last visit here, then under coach Bobby Williamson, ended in a 3-1 thrashing in 2012, although Uganda avenged that with a 4-0 thumping in Kampala.
Basena is expected to give more new faces a run-out today but without breaking the spine of the team.
Skipper Denis Onyango should maintain his place in goal, with Basena likely to partner Hassan Wasswa and Denis Guma in front of Murushid Juuko and Isaac Isinde.
Isinde and Juuko will have to keep Red Devils towering striker Fefebory Dore as quiet as they did in the 1-0 win in Kampala.
Nicholas Wadada and Isaac Muleme should man full back positions with Milton Karisa fancying the right wing and Godfrey Walusimbi down the left.
Should he get a starting role behind Geoffrey Sserunkuma and Derrick Nsibambi, Muzamir Mutyaba should use this to stamp his mark as the right man in that role going forward.
Uganda probable XI:
Denis Onyango, Isaac Isinde, Murushidi Juuko, Isaac Muleme, Nicholas Wadada, Denis Guma, Hassan Wasswa, Muzamir Mutyaba, Godfrey Walusimbi, Milton Karisa, Geoffrey Sserunkuma, Derrick Nsibambi
Isma Watenga, Benjamin Ochan (GKs), Timothy Awany, Nelson Senkatuka, Tom Masiko, Bernard Muwanga, Paul Mucureezi, Allan Kyambadde
TOMORROW, 5.30PM - GROUP E
Congo vs. Uganda
Ghana vs. Egypt