Saturday, December 22
SC Vipers vs CS Constantine, 4:00
(St Mary’s Stadium – Kitende)
Fee: 10,000 (Silver) and 30,000 (Gold)
SC Vipers is set to miss captain Taddeo Lwanga in their CAF Champions League qualifying game against CS Constantine on Saturday.
The midfielder limped off in the club’s last league outing against BUL FC – Lwanga paved way for Brian Nkuubi at the start of second half as the Venoms won 3-1 on the road.
“We will asses his (Taddeo Lwanga) fitness tomorrow,” commented Vipers SC Coach Javier Martinez in a pre match press conference held on Friday at Kitende.
The void is likely to be filled by versatile player Geoffrey Wasswa who missed the first leg after he had accumulated two bookings.
Fred Okot and Aggrey Madoi are the other players who are in line to miss the crunch tie.
Martinez will have a big challenge to see who starts in goal after the return of first choice Fabien Mutombora from a short layoff.
Fan favourite Ibrahim Ssekagya is poised to start but third choice goalkeeper Derrick Ochan started against BUL and impressed when he came on against Constantine in Algeria.
Vipers lost 1-0 in Algeria and the side will need to win at least 2-0 to go through. A 1-0 home win will force penalty shootouts.
If it all comes to pass, Vipers will reach the CAF Champions League group stages for the first time in their brief history – A milestone that has been achieved by only KCCA FC in Uganda.
Coach Martinez Confident
SC Vipers overturned a 2-1 first leg deficit to win 1-0 in Kitende as they ousted El Merreikh to reach this stage.
However, against the Algerian opponents, they face a different and harder challenge.
“They (Constantine) will be very aggressive, they are good on the ball, but we are not sacred and we will be going all out,” said Coach Martinez on Friday.
“Its an important match for the my team and we have prepared accordingly. We know that its victory or never and we are very confident that we will go through.”
If Vipers win by a goal to nil, the game will necesitate penalties to separate the teams and it doesn’t come as a surprise as Vipers spent the much of their Friday morning training session trying out penalty shootouts.
It should be noted that Vipers has not lost a home game in the last 16 games in all competitions at Kitende.
What you need to know about CS Constantine?
Constantine is an Algerian club based in Constantine, Algeria. The club was founded in 1898 and its colours are green and black.
Constantine are the defending Algeria league champions after winning the 2017/18 leaie title with 57 points, three ahead of runners up Saoura.
The league triumph was their second in history as they had won earlier in the 1996/97 season.
Currently, the team is eighth on the 16 team log with 19 points from 15 games. They have won four, drawn seven and lost four times.
The side elimanted Gambia’s GAMTEL FC, despite drawing 0-0 at home, with a 1-0 aggregate victory, to reach this stage.
Constantine has won their last two away games in all competitions, but had won once in their last 12 away games earlier.