The Cranes will be targeting to maintain their dominance over Amavubi when the two sides clash in the Group E fixture
Uganda and Rwanda will face off in their third Group E match of the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers, at Nyamirambo Stadium in Kigali on Thursday at 7pm.
The Cranes will head into the match sitting third on the standings after managing two points from two matches while Amavubi are last after collecting a point from their opening two matches.
Uganda kicked off their campaign to reach Qatar with a 0-0 draw against Kenya in Nairobi and then secured a 1-1 draw against Mali in Kampala, while Rwanda suffered a 1-0 defeat against Mali in their opener in Morocco before a 1-1 draw against Kenya in Kigali.
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Emery Mvuyekure (Tusker, Kenya), Eric Ndayishimiye (AS Kigali), Clement Twizere Buhake (Strommen IF, Norway), Fiacre Ntwari (AS Kigali, Rwanda) and Olivier Kwizera.|
|Defenders||Abdul Rwatubyaye (Shkupi FK, Macedonia), Salomon Nirisarike (Urartu, Armenia), Thierry Manzi (Dila Gori, Georgia), Fitina Omborenga (APR), Emmanuel Imanishimwe (FAR Rabat, Egypt), Emery Bayisenge (AS Kigali), Denis Rukundo (AS Kigali), Eric Rutanga (Police FC), Bryan Clovis Ngwabije (SC Lyon, France), Clement Niyigenda (Rayon), Ange Mutsinzi, Christina Ishimwe (AS Kigali), Hassan Karera (APR) and Faustin Usengimana (Police).|
|Midfielders||Olivier Niyonzima, Kevin Muhire, Isaac Nsengiyumva (Express, Uganda), Djihad Bizimana (KMSK Deinze, Belgium), Djabel Manishimwe (APR), Martin Fabrice Twizeyimana (Police), Yannick Mukunzi (Sandvikens, Sweden), Rafael York (AFC Eskilstuna, Sweden), Eric Nsabimana (Police) and Haruna Niyonzima (AS Kigali).|
|Forwards||Muhadjiri Hakizimana (Police), Savio Dominique Nshuti (Police), Meddie Kagere (Simba SC, Tanzania), Jacques Tuyisenge (APR), Jean Bertrand Iradukunda (Gasogi), Lague Byiringiro (APR), Alain Kwitonda (APR), Yves Mugunga (APR), Onesme Twizerimana (Musanze) and Innocent Nshuti (APR).|
Rwanda captain Haruna Niyonzima is confident the Amavubi will revive their hopes of reaching Qatar with a win against the Cranes.
“The game we played against Kenya was not bad because we had many chances to score but failed to use them, so we have to make sure that we can fight for three points at home against Uganda,” Niyonzima said as quoted by New Times.
“There are positives we need to pick up and upgrade and improve in the next match, and there are negatives that we need to correct because we are playing against a good side.
“Scoring is our main target and it is something that we need to go and work on.”
However, Rwanda coach Vincent Mashami will miss the services of holding midfielder Djihad Bizimana, who plays for Belgian side Koninklijke Maatschappij Sportkring Deinze (KMSK Deinze) after he tested positive for Covid-19.
But other professionals led by Simba striker Meddie Kagere, Salomon Nirisarike, Emery Mvuyekure, Yannick Mukunzi, Clement Buhake, Rafael York, Bryan Clovis Ngwabije, Thierry Manzi, Abdoul Rwatubyaye, and Emmanuel Imanishimwe are all available for selection.
Probable XI for Rwanda: Mvuyekure, Twizeyimana, Byiringiro, Imanishimwe, Nirisarike, Muhire, Mukunzi, Niyigenda, Rwatubyaye, Tuyisenge, Kagere.
|Goalkeepers||Ismail Watenga (Chippa United, South Africa), Charles Lukwago (KCCA, Uganda), Joel Mutakubwa (Express, Uganda).|
|Defenders||Isaac Muleme (Viktoria Zizkov, Czech Republic), Mustapha Kizza (CF Montréal, Canada), Enock Walusimbi (Express, Uganda), Joseph Benson Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers, Uganda), Murushid Juuko (Express, Uganda), Innocent Wafula (Mbarara City, Uganda), Denis Iguma (KCCA, Uganda), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa, Uganda), and Abdul Aziizi Kayondo (Vipers, Uganda).|
|Midfielders||Khalid Aucho (Young Africans, Tanzania), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers, Uganda), Moses Waiswa (SuperSport United, South Africa), and Ibrahim Orit (Vipers, Uganda).|
|Forwards||Derrick Nsibambi (Smouha, Egypt), Yunus Sentamu (Vipers, Uganda), Milton Karisa (Vipers, Uganda), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi, Richard Basangwa (Vipers, Uganda), and Steven Mukwala (URA, Uganda).|
Uganda coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, who is yet to win a match since making a return to the Cranes, is hoping for better against the Amavubi.
“We are looking forward to having positive performances against Rwanda, both in Kigali and at home,” Sredojevic told reporters in Kampala before the squad of 25 players boarded the plane to Kigali on Tuesday.
“The passion and the patriotism of the players are very high and they are ready to make Ugandans proud. With due respect to Rwanda, our target is to get maximum points from both games, nothing less than that.
“After the match with Mali, our foreign-based players put themselves in the competitive mode while the local players got a chance to win places in the squad.
“This they did through playing in four practice matches and have shown the desire to be in the squad. I believe they will deliver.”
The Serbian tactician will, however, miss the services of regular players Farouk Miya, Emmanuel Okwi, and Murushid Juuko, after they were overlooked for the double-header but he has Yanga SC midfielder Khalid Aucho leading the side alongside goalkeeper Charles Lukwago.
Probable XI for Uganda: Lukwago, Iguma, Muleme, Walusimbi, Juuko, Aucho, Byaruhanga, Waiswa, Karisa, Okwi, Ochaya.
In the last six matches between the two nations, Uganda have dominated Rwanda as they have won three matches, drawn two, and lost one.
The last time the two nations met was in January 2021, in the African Nations Championship, and the game ended in a 0-0 draw at Venue Stade de la Reunification in Douala.