West Nilers Onduparaka take on Vipers in a first against second top of the table clash aiming to make a firm statement on their title credentials.
Not many would have given Onduparaka FC much of a chance in a season that started off with the West Nile side losing their fresh-faced star striker Mohamed Shaban. But after grabbing three points in impressive style against Express FC at Wankulukuku, the message from Onduparaka seems to have changed to ‘dismiss us at your own peril’.
The Arua-based side sit pretty at the top of the Azam Uganda Premier League with 13 points, two clear of SC Vipers, who they host at the Green Light Stadium this Saturday. They couldn’t have hoped for a better time to play the struggling 2015 champions, and for the West Nilers it will be the best opportunity yet to examine their title credentials in a season where reigning champions KCCA are struggling to find goals.
This will be a revenge mission for Onduparaka after the Kitende-based club humiliated the West Nilers 4-1 at St Mary’s Stadium in their last league encounter, and Onduparaka will be particularly emboldened by the slim 1-0 win they managed over Vipers in Arua in the same fixture last season. Both camps will go into the game in good spirits after their respective sponsors, MTN Uganda and Hima Cement offered Onduparaka Shs300,000 prize money for the Man of the Match in every game in the case of the former and a monthly Vipers best player award of 10 bags of cement.
Onduparaka have only dropped two points at home this season (a barren draw against Proline) and if they win will extend their lead over Vipers to five points. It might be only the halfway stage of the first round, but should they manage that, notice of their intentions will have been served—especially considering that KCCA travel to Masaka the same day to square off with rivals SC Villa.
Weekend Fixtures (All games to be played at 4:30)
Friday, October 27
BUL v Express FC, Kakindu Stadium
Police v Jinja SS, Namboole Stadium
Saturday, October 29
Onduparaka FC v SC Vipers, Green Light Stadium
Proline v UPDF, Phillip Omondi Stadium
SC Villa v KCCA FC, Masaka Recreation Grounds