Preview: Uganda vs. Botswana – prediction, team news, lineups

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Preview: Uganda vs. Botswana – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday’s World Cup Qualifying – Africa clash between Uganda and Botswana, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Action resumes in Group G of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as Uganda and Botswana go head to head at the Mandela National Stadium on Friday.

Having lost each of the previous three meetings between the two nations, the Zebras will head into the weekend looking to get one over the home side and rise to the top of the group standings.

Match preview

Uganda turned in a resilient team performance last time out when they fought back from behind twice in the game to salvage a 2-2 draw against Ghana in a friendly on March 26.

In an action-packed contest at the Stade de Marrakech, Jerome Opoku and Jordan Ayew put the Black Stars ahead twice in the game but Steven Mukwala and Muhammad Shaban found the back of the net to force a share of the spoils.

Prior to that, Paul Put‘s men secured a 2-0 victory over Kuwait in their first outing of the year on January 19 before crashing back down to earth in a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Comoros on March 22.

Uganda now turn their attention to the World Cup qualifiers, where they kicked off their campaign with a 2-1 loss against Guinea at the Stade Municipal de Berkane on November 17.

However, the Cranes bounced back four days later as 20-year-old Rogers Mato Kassim netted the only goal of the game to hand them a 1-0 victory over 10-man Somalia in Morocco.

Botswana, on the other hand, were denied their first win since the turn of the year as they played out a somewhat disappointing goalless draw with Burundi at the Mahamasina Municipal Stadium on March 25.

The Zebras have now been involved in a share of the spoils in each of their three friendly outings in 2024, with their last victory coming on November 21, when they beat Guinea 1-0 to record their first win of the World Cup qualifiers.

Didier Gomes Da Rosa‘s men had stumbled into the qualifying campaign in their previous outing as they fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat at the hands of Mozambique in their Group G curtain-raiser on November 16.

Next up for Botswana is the challenge of taking on an opposing nation whom they have failed to get the better of in each of their previous five meetings, losing three and claiming two draws since August 2006.

Uganda World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:

Uganda form (all competitions):

Botswana World Cup Qualifying – Africa form:

Botswana form (all competitions):

Team News

Put has called up 28 players to the Cranes squad, including the SC Villa trio of defender Kenneth Semakula, midfielder Ronald Ssekiganda and striker Umar Lutalo.

New York Red Bulls youngster Ibrahim Kasule is one of the few foreign-based players in the squad, alongside Port Vale forward and former Watford striker Uche Ikpeazu, who is set to debut for the Cranes.

Motherwell man Bevis Mugabi started the game against Somalia in November and the 29-year-old should retain his role in the XI, forming the centre-back pairing with Halidi Lwaliwa.

Botswana have named a solid squad for their upcoming games against Uganda and Somalia, with the likes of Tumisang Orebonye, Kabelo Seakanyeng and skipper Thatayaone Ditlhokwe.

Ditlhokwe, who currently plies his trade with Kaizer Chief in the South African top flight, should marshall the Zebra’s defence once again, alongside 22-year-old Tebogo Kopelang.

Uganda possible starting lineup:
Watenga; Mwere, Lwaliwa, Mugabi, Semakula; Kasule, Aucho, Mutyaba; Mukwala, Ikpeazu, Bayo

Botswana possible starting lineup:
Phoko; Mangolo, Ditlhokwe, Kopelang, Velaphi; Mohutsiwa, Gaolaolwe; Orebonye, Seakanyeng, Ngele; Thalefang

We say: Uganda 2-0 Botswana

Uganda and Botswana have enjoyed a decent start to the campaign and will be looking to secure their second win in Group G. The Cranes head into the game with a significantly superior squad, and given their home advantage, we fancy them to claim all three points.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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