Simba SC players

Simba SC players

League leaders, Simba, who have been enjoying the driver’s seat for long spells, meet African Lyon in a tricky duel whose results could prove crucial to the former’s desire to land the trophy, should the results be in the team’s favour. Simba, currently with 47 points from 21 matches after winning 14, claiming draw in five and losing two games, will collect 50 points should they overcome African Lyon to consequently open a six-point gap with the rampaging Azam FC that lies second with 44 points.

The Msimbazi Street side still relishes a sweet 2-0 victory over ES Setif of Algeria in the first round, first leg match of the CAF Confederation Cup at the National Stadium last Sunday to remain the only domestic side still competing in the second major continental club event.The team will badly need the three points to see to it that it frustrates efforts by Azam FC to snatch the top position, apart from maintaining the winning spree.

The league leaders will likely be without influential Rwandan midfielder, Patrick Mafisango, who has been temporarily suspended by the club for misconduct and the player is also set to miss his side’s trip to Algeria to play ES Setif in the return leg of the Confederation Cup’s first round. In the first round encounter between Simba and African Lyon, played at the same venue on October 17 last year, the former came out with a resounding 4-1 win but Lyon, currently positioned 10th with 21 points from 20 matches, are not expected to let Simba easily walk all over them for the second time.

Victory is definitely important to African Lyon as well considering the team is keen on maintaining a good run in the remaining matches to escape relegation to the First Division League. Should Lyon manage to silence Simba, they will boost their points tally to 24 and leapfrog Kagera Sugar to stay at the ninth position but that will depend on the margin of Lyon’s victory as Kagera also have 24 points.

Lyon, who endured a largely less impressive campaign in the first round, have shown steady improvement in performance in the second round and that means they are set to pose trouble to Simba, if the latter will underrate them. Lyon had to field a depleted squad during the closing stages of the first round as most of the first team players were sidelined by injuries and the team succumbed to a series of embarrassing defeats in the process.

With almost all dependable players back to full fitness, though, the team, now coached by Kenyan Charles Otieno, will undoubtedly be facing Simba with plenty of confidence whilst harbouring hopes of stunning the league leaders. A potentially nail-biting duel, all in all, awaits soccer fans in Tanga, where the league’s defending champions, Yanga, will be out to bolster their pursuit of back to back triumph in the top flight event.

Yanga, featuring a depleted squad following the absence of dependable players because of suspension, laboured to beat the rejuvenated Villa Squad 1-0 at the National Stadium in the latest game on March 17 but the return of some of the former’s first choice players is expected to add the much needed vigour in the Jangwani Street side today. Coastal Union, however, stand to pose the biggest of the challenges to Yanga today based on the former’s impressive form, which has helped the side garner convincing wins in its recent matches.

Coastal Union, now positioned sixth with 29 points from 21 matches, is expected to come out with all guns blazing in a bid to revenge for the 5-1 defeat the team suffered at the hands of Yanga at the National Stadium on September 28, last year. With Coastal seemingly being guaranteed support by the majority of the fans that will turn up at the stadium, victory over Yanga will be the hosts’ best way to please the fans, apart from helping them scale up the league standing.

Source Tanzania Daily News

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