Uganda skipper Andy Mwesigwa will undergo a late fitness test before Micho Sredojevic decides on the FC Ordabasy’s fate ahead of the Cranes must-win World Cup qualifier against Senegal.
The two clash this Saturday in the Moroccan city of Marrakech with Uganda needing a win to progress to the final round of qualification while Senegal require just a draw.
And Micho will need his captain fit for this massive game if he is to approach it at full strength.
Mwesigwa is battling to fully recover from a foot injury he sustained two weeks ago. He did play for his club in a league match last weekend and has trained well with the Cranes but Micho will not take chances when chooses his starting line-up on Saturday.
“Andy is a patriotic Ugandan,” Micho told SuperSport.com, adding, “And he is giving himself every chance. But he is also a human being.
“He has trained well without complaints but he will be assessed before the game. He will have to fight for his starting place. We need all our players to be not only 100 per cent, but 200 per cent fit.”
Midfielder Vincent Kayiizi, who had been recalled to the national team after over a year, was among the players dropped and will be heading back to Uganda today while the rest of the team flies to Morocco.
The Motor Lubin (Poland) player was axed together with Portugal-based Luwagga Kizito and Nicholas Wadada.
“We have trained for four days and assessed the players well enough.
The three players were lacking in some aspects,” Micho said.
The Cranes need an outright win against The Terenga Lions of Senegal if they hope to progress to the last round of the World Cup qualifiers.
Senegal has nine points in the group, one ahead of the regional Cecafa giants.
In their last meeting at the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole, last year, Uganda fought from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Senegal after Papiss Cisse had scored early for the visitors.
The sharp striker Cisse will, however, miss this weekend’s game as two yellow cards have ruled him out through suspension.
The Cranes coach said although they are going to face a very talented side, his team is ready for the challenge.
“An early goal will be very good for us,” added Micho, whose side picked up a morale boosting 3-1 win over Botswana last weekend in Gaborone.
Micho’s 22-man squad checks into the luxurious 5 star Le Meridien N’fis Hotel this morning after arriving in Marrakesh.
“We are booked at the Le Meridien N’Fis and so far everything has gone to plan,” Micho said.
Luxurious Le Meridien N’Fis hotel is seated on five-and-a half hectares of lush Andalusian gardens in the Menara district of Marrakech, just outside the city.
The hotel’s facilities include three world-class restaurants, spa facilities, and easy access to two of the finest golf courses in Morocco, a bar, swimming pool, terrace and tennis courts etc
A mob of 150 Ugandan fans are expected to raise Saturday’s atmosphere at the 45,000-capacity Grand Stade de Marrakech.
It was built to provide the city of Marrakesh with a new and modern venue to replace the old Stade El Harti.
The new stadium was designed by Italian architecture firm Gregotti Associate, and its design reflects the architecture of the city of Marrakesh with its thick walls, towers, and minarets and is located north outside the city of Marrakech along the RN9 road that leads to Casablanca. It lies about 9 kilometres from Marrakech’s historic centre.
President Yoweri Museveni eager to have Uganda advance in the qualifiers of football’s top competition, last week offered sh559m so that 154 fans travel to the Moroccan tourist city to support the Cranes.
Cranes squad in Morocco:
Goalkeepers: Dennis Onyango (Bidvest Wits, South Africa) Robert Odongkara (St George, Ethiopia), Hamza Muwonge (Vipers FC).
Defenders: Dennis Iguma and Savio Kabugo ( SC Victoria), Geoffrey Walusimbi (Don Bosco, DR Congo), Richard Kasagga (Kiira Young), Andy Mwesigwa (FC Ordabasy, Kazakhstan), Henry Kalungi (Richmond Kickers, USA), Isaac Isinde (St George, Ethiopia).
Midfielders: Hassan Wasswa and Brian Majwega ( KCCA FC)Moses Oloya and Geoffrey Kizito ( Xuan Thanh Saigon FC, Vietnam), Jospeh Ochaya (Asante Kotoko, Ghana), Mike Aziira (Charleston Battery, USA), Tonny Mawejje (IBV, Iceland), L Martin Mutumba (AIK Solna, Sewden).
Strikers: Emmanuel Okwi (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia), Hamis Kiiza (Young Africans, Tanzania), Frank Kalanda (URA FC), Robert Ssentongo (St George, Ethiopia).