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Express stare at Bright Stars

Express FC have vowed to end their losing streak when they host Bright Stars at Wankulukuku stadium tomorrow in the Azam Uganda Premier League, reports JOHN VIANNEY NSIMBE.

Bright Stars FC are in quite buoyant mood following their 1-0 win over URA FC last week. Express FC, who host them on match-day eight, are coming off two successive losses.

On Friday, BUL FC edged Express 1-0 at the Kakindu stadium. Express also lost 1-2 to Onduparaka a week earlier. It is without doubt, therefore, that the pressure is mounting on Express coach Deo Bamweyana, to return the team to winning ways, yet Bright Stars is a big preposition.

Express' Ronnie Kisekka is tackled by Onduparaka's Viane Ssekajugo

“While we are disappointed with our recent results, we cannot afford to put our heads down. We just have to keep working hard and we will improve,” Bamweyana said.

However, it is difficult not to read into the tone in which Bamweyana speaks. While he does not admit the fact that Express did not have good pre-season preparations is encumbering them, the Red Eagles’ overall performance has been  unconvincing in the games played so far.

Express are thirteenth on the log while Bright Stars are sixth not by accident. Express has hardly played any good football in recent times. They were second best to Onduparaka and even BUL. The players do not only appear short on physical and mental fitness, they are erratic and lack cohesion.

It is a state of affairs that should play well into the hands of Bright Stars. Coach Fred Kajoba said they have a good record against Express, which gives them confidence. Last season, this tie ended goalless in Wankulukuku.

But with the scoring form of Bright Stars striker Nelson Ssenkatuka lately, with four goals in six games, the Mwererwe side will be salivating for Express, who look low on confidence.

Meanwhile, a vibrant Maroons FC side will host Proline FC. Following their 1-0 win over Bright Stars in Mwererwe, Maroons, many had considered to be the whipping boys, have since drawn one-all with SC Villa and then beat Masavu 1-0.

Maroons’ Solomon Walusimbi scored in their previous match

The Masavu scalp was claimed a week ago in Bugonga, Entebbe, a result that enlivened the Maroons fraternity. Coach Asaph Mwebaze said, “I think we are now growing in the league. We could not score in our first four games, although we kept two clean sheets therein. Now we have scored thrice in our last three games, which is good.”

As such, Maroons has upped the ante going into their game with Proline, against whom they have had some really intriguing clashes over the years. There is a feel-good factor around Luzira. They feel they can make it three wins in four games.

But more importantly, this is the kind of game, that has a number of similarities between the two sides. Like Maroons, whose financial muscle is not as big to command big money buys, and therefore, they depend on grooming own talent from school boys to top-flight league stars, as Muzamir Mutyaba (KCCA FC) or Abel Eturude (SC Villa) have become, Proline does the same largely.

Having brought through players such as Sula Matovu and Ivan Bukenya, who have played at Kaizer Chiefs in recent years, Proline is built on similar principles as Maroons of giving youngsters a chance. And it is on that background that this clash is normally a close match-up.

And at the same time, it provides one of the best spectacles in terms of football quality exhibited. Proline coach Mujib Kasule, as does Mwebaze, promotes an expansive and ball possession-based game.

So, one can expect a good pass-and-move game like the pre-season one in early September, where they drew one-all.

However, being that Proline is in its second-successive season in the top-flight, they have now come of age, with the experience which gives them an edge over Maroons. But Proline are yet to win an away game this season.

jovi@observer.ug

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