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    UCL Returns: Salah’s Liverpool Can Harm Ramos-Less Real In Madrid, Can The Cityzens Stop Haaland?

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    Only two of Manchester City, Dortmund, Liverpool and Real Madrid will play in the round

    The UEFA Champions League is back, with only the 8 best performers left in the contest for this year’s edition of the most prestigious club football tournament in Europe.

    Football fans will be treated to two high profile games, including 4 teams with world class players tonight,and tomorrow alike.

    Real Madrid vs Liverpool

    Too much attention for today has however been shifted to Madrid-Spain where 2018 finalists, Real Madrid and Liverpool will face of tonight in the first of a two-legged encounter to see who claims the semi final spot.

    We can therefore only see one of the two teams in this year’s finals at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul-Turkey on a Tuesday night of 29th May this year.

    While this is a clash between two of the most successful sides in this competition, the pair are a shadow of themselves. Both teams come into this one with major absences, with the winner likely to be whoever can cope the best with the gaps in their side.

    Sergio Ramos has been ruled out, robbing us of a reunion between him and Mo Salah after their controversial 2018 clash. Eden Hazard is out for Real once again, while the Reds will be missing Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez among others.

    Liverpool Advantageous

    Real Madrid have clawed their way back into the Spanish title race, heaping more pressure onto their weekend encounter with Barcelona. Having that game in between two legs against Liverpool can’t be good for Zinedine Zidane’s side, while it allows Liverpool the chance to keep their European hopes alive.

    The Reds have been excellent in Europe, much better than their inconsistent league displays. Their home and away wins over RB Leipzig saw them deal with one of the best-performing sides in Europe. Jurgen Klopp’s men have now won six of eight European games this term, continuing his fine record in this competition.

    Liverpool have the edge in terms of firepower in this one, with Diogo Jota back to partner Mo Salah and Sadio Mane – who have scored 43 goals in this competition for the Reds. Salah has boosted that tally of late having scored in five of his last seven games in the Champions League.

    Manchester City vs Dortmund

    Meanwhile, Manchester City will host German side Borussia Dortmund in England.

    With the Premier League title wrapped up and two trips to Wembley to come, Man City are motoring towards a domestic treble. However, their real goal is to finally win the Champions League, with an unprecedented quadruple a real possibility.

    However, City’s recent Champions League record has seen them consistently fall before the semi-finals. Having exited at this stage for three years running, City will be glad to know that Dortmund have won the first leg in just one of their previous six quarter-final ties (D2 L3).

    Haaland Unstoppable

    Borussia Dortmund are one of the most exciting teams in the competition, but they can’t match the consistency of City. Defensively Dortmund are poor, with their real strength coming up front. City need to find a way to deal with Erling Haaland, a striker who they’ve been so heavily linked with he’s bound to have an impact in this game.

    At this point it’s part and parcel of a Champions League game to see Haaland score. The forward has found the net in each of his last six matches in this competition, while he has notched six goals in four matches in the knockout stages.

    City have an improved defence this season, but we don’t see them keeping Haaland quiet. He’s a man for the big occasion and he’s well priced to find the net at the Etihad.

    By Baron Kironde

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    SPORTS

    Who Is Fooling Who: Express FC Unveils New Sponsor, Cancels Melbet Contract Few Weeks After Signing…

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    Express FC players celebrate their goal in their new jersey in their first game of the season against UPDF yesterday

    Just a month after Express FC unveiled Melbet betting company as their sponsor, the Wankulukuku based club have terminated the contract.

    Last week, Express FC unveiled sure bet, another betting company as their new sponsor.

    When Grapevine asked, Express CEO, Isaac Mwesigwa what happened to the Melbet deal, he refused to reveal more details but disclosed that the club went into mutual understanding with melbet to terminate the contract.

    “We are happy with this new deal because it will help us more during the league,” he said.

    Former, Express chairperson, Nakiwala Kiyingi told theGrapevine that, “we are happy to have this wonderful deal and it will help us.”

    When asked her whether the current chairman, Kiryowa Kiwanuka is still a club chairman, she said that she cannot comment on the matter.

     

    By Juma Ali

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    Tension As Real Stars Awards Shortlists Best Performing Sports Stars For September…

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    L-R: Basketball's Tony Drileba, Jacob Kiplimo, Ambrose Kigozi of Sand Cranes and JKL's Brenda Ekon

    Real Stars Awards has shortlisted the best performing Ugandan sports personalities in different sports disciplines.

    This time, in the September monthly awards, four disciplines will be awarded and these include; football, athletics, cricket and basketball.

    The awards will take place tomorrow, Tuesday 4th October, at 256 route, Lugogo.

    The nominees are: In football, three players are contesting for the award and these include; Ambrose Kigozi of Sand Cranes, for his good performance in COSAF championship  where Sand Cranes reached semifinal, Bruno Bunyaga of Buddu and St. Lawrence University where he took the university into the semifinals and Buddu to quarter finals and Blacha Mulamba of Gomba who played a big role to Gomba performance.

    In Cricket, the nominees are; Juma Miyaji, Riazat Ali Shah and Patricia Timogo for their good performance for the cricket Cranes, where they won the African T20 challenge.

    In Basketball, the nominees are; Tony Drireba of city oilers, who helped his team reach the finals of National basketball league, Ariael Okai of Nam blazers, who helped the club to reach its first final of National basketball league and Brenda Ekon of JKL Lady Dolphins who helped her club to reach the finals.

    In Athletics, the nominees are, Jacob Kiplimo, Abel Chebet and Andrew Komoi.

     

    By Juma Ali

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    Express FC Unveils New Sponsorship Deal..

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    Express FC team

    Express FC yesterday unveiled a partnership with betting company, Melbet at Wakulukuku stadium.

    This was after their previous sponsors betway refused to renew their partship with the club.

    The details of what is in the sponsorship package are not known but according to Melbet country director, Andrew Kamwesigye, the betting company is going to support Express in everything they need to compete favourably in all tournaments from the Super League to continental competitions.

    Addressing journalist at Wakulukuku, Express Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Isaac Mwesigwa said, “Melbet will help us in our journey to defend the CECAFA club Championship, branding the stadium and providing players’ kits for both home and away games.”

    The deal is for one year and will be renewable.

    Melbet was the official shirt sponsor for Kyetume FC last season.

     

    By Juma Ali

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