Uganda's group has netted a combined six goals in two games, the Cranes scoring two of those in the 2-0 win over Malawi.
In contrast, the qualifying top scorers - Groups I of Senegal, Congo, Guinea Bissau and eSwatini, and K including Madagascar, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Niger, have scored 13.
The good - best defence
Two things should encourage the Cranes going into their Thursday showdown, however. A goalless away to a side as formidable as Burkina Faso is a decent result, while you cannot question a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Malawi Flames.
Emmanuel Okwi and Fahad Bayo scored Uganda's goals and are in the squad to face South Sudan.
But while we are scrutinising the low returns in the group, it could also translate into better defence.
Actually, after two games, the Cranes - along with six others across the 48 teams in the qualification phase - have the meanest defence having not concerned yet.
McKinstry, who will be taking charge of his second home qualifying match, will hope that and Okwi and Bayo continue firing the other end.
He is, however, without the two centre backs who helped keep the clean sheet at Namboole last year.
Bevis Mugabi is injured while Murushid Juuko is trying to play himself back into contention after a year without competitive football.
That gives an opportunity to Israel-based Timothy Awany, Ronald Mukiibi (Ostersunds FK, Sweden), Disan Galiwango (Vipers), Patrick Mbowa (URA) and Halid Lwalilwa (Vipers) to push their luck.
What do South Sudan bring?
South Sudan's competitiveness has already been highlighted, and the actors are not that strange to Ugandans.
You will see familiar faces such as Gor Mahia striker Tito Okello and Busoga United's Ivan Wani, two players with roots in Uganda, for example.
There is also Mbarara City's Makueth Wol. You bet the trio would love to celebrate here, especially Tito Okello, who will be playing at a venue he enjoyed some good spells with Vipers.
Head coach Cyprian Besong Ashu's side also boast of stars who play in Australia, New Zealand and Czech Republic.
Uganda Cranes Squad for S. Sudan Qualifier
Goalkeepers: Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Salim Jamal Magoola (Al Hilal Omdurman, Sudan), Charles Lukwago (KCCA)
Defenders: Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Elvis Bwomono (Southend, United, England), Nicholas Wadada (Azam, Tanzania), Timothy Awany (Ashdod, Israel), Ronald Mukiibi (Ostersunds FK, Sweden), Disan Galiwango (Vipers), Patrick Mbowa (URA), Halid Lwalilwa (Vipers)
Midfielders: Farouk Miya (Konyaspor, Turkey), Allan Kyambadde (El Gouna, Egypt), Khalid Aucho (El Makasa, Egypt), Kizito Luwagga (Hapoel Kfar Saba, Israel), Mike Azira (Chicago Fire, Canada - USA), Allan Okello (Paradou, Algeria), Karim Watambala (Vipers), Shafik Kagimu (URA)
Forwards: Derrick Nsibambi (Smouha), Alexis Bbakka (Umea, Sweden), Edrisa Lubega (Paide Linnameeskond, Estonia), Emmanuel Okwi (Ittihad, Egypt), Fahad Bayo (Ashdod, Israel), Brian Aheebwa (KCCA)
South Sudan squad
Goalkeepers: Majak Maling (Melbourne), Nasir Haidar (Gudele Juba), John Ramadan (Malakia)
Defenders: Godfrey Nyeko (Atlona City Soccer), John Koul (Kariobangi Sharks), Peter Maker (Amarat), Abdelkarim Mutwakil (Atlabara Juba), Bak Majok (Amarat United), Rahan Angier (Munuki Juba), David Omot (Al Merrikh)
Midfielders: Daniel Chok (Vysocina), Manyumow Achol (Kingston), Jackson Morgan (Perth), Ivan Wani (Busoga United), Musa Abdallad (AFC Leopards), Dominic Abui (Al Khartoum), Emmanuel Thomas (Amarat United), Stephen Pawaar (Munuki Juba), Dominic Angelo (Munuki Juba)
Forwards: Denis Yongule (Eastern Lions), Tito Okello (Gor Mahia), Makueth Wol (Mbarara City), David Majak Chan (Tusker), Aluk Akech (Alamal Atbara), Jose Kuch (Amarat United, South Sudan), Kenyok Wal Athiu (Unattached)
AFCON 2022 QUALIFYING
FINALS PP FROM 2021
November 11 (initially 14)
Uganda vs. South Sudan,
4pm, St Mary's, Kitende
South Sudan vs. Uganda,
7pm, Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi
Match Day 5 and 6
(22nd - 30th March 2021)