Two of the teams firmly rooted in the relegation zone of the Uganda Premier League – Nyamityobora and Villa – meet on Friday at the Betway Stadium, Wankulukuku.
Level on four from eight games and only separated by goal difference, both teams come into this clash hoping that their new head coaches can somehow put one over on the other.
Villa’s Douglas Bamweyana had a first glimpse of his players in a midweek friendly against Spartan FC while Nyamityobora’s Asaph Mwebaze, who quit Onduparaka FC a fortnight ago, will have to work with the players still trying to overcome the shock departure of James Odoch.
Mwebaze was only confirmed as Nyamityobora coach on Thursday. The last time he faced Villa this season, Onduparaka stunned the record champions 1-0.
Villa drew 2-2 away to Tooro United in Fort Portal. The result meant the end for Moses Basena as coach. Additionally, the result epitomizes Villa’s slump in form since May as they have picked up just six points from a possible 36.
One aspect of the club’s current form that will worry new coach Bamweyana is that his side has not won any of their opening eight games drawing just four.
Not only that, but these draws and losses have been from winning positions, which is all the more concerning. In their latest stalemate, with Tooro United, Villa took the lead twice but they could not keep hold of their advantage.
Bamweyana will want to make sure his side takes full advantage of their leads if they are to bring their season back to life. And a win on his debut will serve him a great deal of comfort heading into the last fixtures of the first round.
Nyamityobora meanwhile, have not won since their 2-1 win over rivals Mbarara City during the ‘western derby’ in October and their 6-1 humbling by KCCA last time out serves to show how far off pace they have fallen.
It is the latter result that led to former coach Odoch to leave the club as he was ordered to ‘pack his bags and leave Nyamityobora’ and labeled un-worthy to handle the club by club President Ben Misagga.
As it is, Nyamityobora latest run of games is worse than what the team produced in the preceding three games as they picked up a draw and a win.
Bashir Mutanda has scored four of Villa’s 8 goals so far and he will hope his goals can get them all three points this time.
Pius Wangi and Albert Mugisa have all scored once so far since joining the club and their influence on the Jogoo cannot be overlooked and their performances a mark of their quick adaptation to their surroundings and they will be looking to push again on Friday.
Defender Savio Kabugo, who picked up an injury before the game against Tooro United is still sidelined with goalkeeper Brian Bweete also out with injury. However, the return of Kivumbi Samuel and Yusuf Mukisa is a huge boost for Bamweyana.
For Nyamityobora, they may miss goalie Hillary Jomi who appeared to be carrying a knock in the closing stages of the game against KCCA while Pengere Ibrahim was brought off at half time with a muscle strain.
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