By James Bakama
CAF Champions League
KCCA v El Merreikh - Today, kick-off at 4pm
Many coaches would go for the defensive option if they had the advantage that George Nsimbe has going into today’s encounter with El Merreikh.
The KCCA tactician takes on the Sudanese giants after an away win in the CAF Champions League first leg last Saturday.
But rather than go for what has come to be known as the Jose Mourinho approach of “packing the bus,” Nsimbe has opted for attack in the preliminary match that will have the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga as chief guest.
“The best way to reduce pressure on your defence, is by attacking,” explained Nsimbe. “The idea is not dropping the ball and also ensuring that it gets to the opponents’ goal as fast as possible.”
We will attack
“We have to keep the visitors on the back foot,” stressed the former KCCA and Cranes attacking midfielder.
It was through such raids that KCCA got El Merreikh on the wrong foot. Herman Wasswa opened the scores before Tony Odur made it two.
Nsimbe’s drills have since Tuesday been centered on such attacks. He is also set for the worst going by the penalty taking sessions that have been mandatory after every training.
But Nsimbe hastily adds that much as his troops will be on the offensive, they will also be cautiously watching their rear guard.
“This is football where upsets do happen. We can only avoid that by also not being loose at the back,” Nsimbe noted after Friday’s training.
Nsimbe still has fresh memories of that 2003 day when SC Villa pulled off an away win in Angola against AS Aviacao only to collapse at Namboole. “That’s why we are going for a win. We are not taking any chances,” stated Nsimbe.
El Merreikh motivated
But in El Merreikh, KCCA will be up against a much more improved side than the one they faced in Khartoum. Coach Michael Kruger started correcting mistakes on Tuesday with a 4-0 league win over Ahli Khartoum.
Like most Arab sides, Merreikh are good at ball possession. With a mixture of Sudanese and Ethiopian signings, the team is also given a physical touch by Nigerian and Ivorian players.
It was a full squad at KCC since Wednesday with the return to camp of Brian Majwega and Odur.
KCCA has in an effort to have a big crowd worked jointly with city transporters Utoda Awakula ennume to avail buses. The buses will move fans free of charge from the Constitutional square to Namboole and back. This started at midday.
Students in uniform have free entry into Namboole. Tickets will go for sh10,000 in the main stands and sh20,000 and 50,000 in the pavilion and VIP section respectively.