Tanzania: Simba's CAF Fire Hunts Mtibwa

AFTER the highly successful group stage campaign in the CAF Champions League, Premier League's defending champions Simba test their experience against Mtibwa Sugar today at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Simba, who have cruised into the quarter final stage of the highest continental level club championship, will be trying to show their opponents what they have gained from the tough races.

Simba, who finished as the top commanders of the group A, two points superior to the last year's winners Al Ahly of Egypt, seem likely to overpower Mtibwa in their title-defending campaign. Simba are currently positioned third in the league standings with 46 points garnered from 20 games.

They are five points inferior to the league leaders and traditional rivals, Young Africans who have reaped 51 points from 24-game outings.

The Msimbazi Street giants are behind the second-positioned Azam FC who are above them by just a point.

The situation is likely to make Simba hit the ground running to ensure they secure maximum points in a bid to bridge gap with two closest title contenders above them.

The team's tactician Didier Gomes whose side still has four games in hand, their target is to post positive results in all the four matches, a feat he said, will see them leapfrog Azam and Young Africans.

"We have completed CAF Champions League's group stage campaign and now we are back in the Premier League circuit, we are going to utilise all our strength and capability as we did in the Champions League. We, as well, would like to see the team climb to the top of the league's ladder after the end of our four-match mission by the end of this month," he insisted.

A win against Mtibwa today will see Simba regain the second place with 49 points, just two points behind leaders Yanga who were forced to a 1-1 draw with KMC in their last game.

Under Coach Hittimana Thiery, Mtibwa Sugar also need a boost their title campaign, especially after a 2-0 loss to Azam FC in their last league match at Azam Complex.

The loss dropped Mtibwa Sugar to the relegation zone, a situation that will force sugar planters to wage a fierce battle against on-form Simba.

Mtibwa Sugar are placed at the 15th position and they are among four teams battling to shrug off relegation threat.

Other teams buried in the relegation zone are Mbeya City who are positioned 16th, Ihefu FC at the 17th position with 21 points and the bottom-placed Mwadui FC who have collected only 16 points.

Simba should expect to see Mtibwa Sugar as a wounded bull, hence they should be ready for a fierce fight.

In the first round match held at Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro, the two teams drew 1-1. Simba took the lead through Mzamiru Yassin while Mtibwa Sugar equalised late through Boban Zirintusa.

After today's clash Simba will travel to Shinyanga to meet Mwadui at the Mwadui Complex.

Then Simba will travel to Kagera to play Kagera Sugar on April 21st before later taking on Gwambina on April 24th in Misungwi. Premier League's actions continue tomorrow when Polisi Tanzania welcome Namungo at Ushirika Stadium.

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