KCCA FC will seek retribution against Espérance, a Tunisian side today [Saturday] at the Mandela National Stadium in their return leg of the CAF Champions league but without three key players.
Whilst in Tunisia in the first encounter, the Ugandan giants squandered a two nil lead blatantly and lost to Khalid Ben Yahia’s side due to lack of experience according to their coach Mike Mutebi.
KCCA FC who is known to cause devastation to North African sides of recent in home soil unfortunately will play without three key players who were directly and indirectly involved in the two first goals they scored in the first leg.
Gift Abubaker Ali who set up Jackson Nunda for the opener are both unavailable due to injuries and Muhammad Shaban who was pivotal in the own goal the Esperance left center back Khalil Chemman scored left for a trial to South Africa with Micho Sredojevic’s Orlando Pirates.
Amidst the absence of the trio, Mike Mutebi preached calmness and assured KCCA fans an entertaining and offensive football. He added in each position in his squad, there are more than two equal good players.
Although the superiority of Espérance Sportive de Tunis was evidenced following three goals they scored to overcome the two goals KCCA scored, Ben Yahia said that the Kasasiro boys are unpredictable.
According to the 58 year old, KCCA FC might not be a force to reckon in Africa but facing them is tricky because identifying the threat is not open.
Access FM’s soccer Pundit Otelul Vegas Adams Analysis on the future of the fixture
KCCA dealt with many factors against Tunis apart from disrespect for an opponent. It’s not easy to acclimatize to Tunisian climate I got to learn, surrounded by Mediterranean Sea partly. There is extremely cold and your players will never be leggy compared to the local ones in Tunisia, that I’m sure contributed to the defeat.
But the backline of KCCA had too many makeshifts, which is dangerous at that stage given the quality of the opponents too at their own backyard.
Mustafa Kizza playing as a centre back can increase the adrenaline of any KCCA freak, coupled with Jackson Nunda as the left wing back. I have never seen those two playing in that position maybe because I’m an Onduparaka fan.
Not only that, Benard Muwanga has over played free style football in SC Villa, fitting inside the KCCA back three system was always going to be hard for him more so in his debut in foreign land. Mike rushed that selection to me and I’m still yet to convince myself with Benards quality.
Gift Ali was another debutant at a wrong time; it’s not easy having a good first touch in such a debut.
All those factors without a natural holding midfielder can haunt badly unless your team is extremely very good at keeping the ball away from opponents as much as possible. If they can’t then don’t try total football that will come in vein.
They will miss Shaban, that aggressive high pressing from the skinny giant, the quick thinking and finishing ability.
But against Al Ahly they won the game with different characters. If the same characters can step up then there is champagne to splash.
Arabs are addicted to playing under European standard facilities, they won’t find that here in Uganda. Right from the airport that’s where KCCA’s biggest advantage comes. And if you watch Arabs keenly, you will realize they hate man marking. That’s why when an Arab makes a bad tackle it’s extremely nasty because they rush from space.
Chances for making many set pieces will be there for KCCA, correcting minor mistakes will give them all round advantage. I’m going for KCCA.