Africa Cup of Nations – Uganda Preview

 

Playing squad

Remarkably, all but four players in the entire squad have at least 19 caps to their name. So although they lack African Nations experience, the team as a whole don’t lack for playing appearances and there is a strong suggestion they know each other really well. The whole defence is based in Africa and I’m not familiar with anyone. Recent results would suggest they could keep it tight though. Uganda are often involved in low scoring games, keeping quite a few clean sheets, so must be able to defend in some sort of capacity

In midfield, American readers should be familiar with Colorado Rapids’ Michael Azira. He only has one cap for his country but could end up forcing his way into the lineup here. Again, most of the other midfield options are from Africa and ball winner Tonny Mawejje is likely to be a key player for them in this area of the field. On the wings, Kizito is one of their few individuals who plays club football outside of Africa. The Rio Ave man has only made sporadic appearances in the Portuguese league this season but will be very important for Uganda. Upfront is their star player, Farouk Miya who has scored 13 goals in 23 appearances for his country. This is quite impressive for a 21 year old and if they are to be competitive in this competition then it’s vital he takes his chances when they come.

Draw & outlook

Of all the teams who got drawn out of pot four, Uganda perhaps have the best chance of achieving something. They have landed in a ‘manageable’ group with Ghana and Egypt the big two teams. I expect Egypt to be strong, but there’s no guarantee of that, whilst Ghana don’t seem like the force they once were. Mali are the other team in the group so if Uganda can keep things tight then they might have a chance. They have started the recent World Cup Cup Qualifying campaign well, beating Congo and also obtaining a surprise 0-0 away against Ghana, so that should fill them with confidence. They’ve prepared well for this tournament, playing in a number of friendly games and doing well. The overall mood is good and I don't think they’ll be any old mugs. Uganda are likely to be hard to break down and could frustrate some sides. It wouldn't surprise me if they draw a couple of games or even obtained a shock victory against someone. The logical outcome is for them to finish fourth and this will probably occur. However, out of all of the ‘minnows’ then this is the team I am more optimistic about.

Group prediction: 4th

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