PREMIER League title race leaders, Simba host Prisons today at the National Stadium, seeking maximum points and race far ahead of their closest pursuers.
A win in their tough match against diehards Prisons warders will place them 11-points ahead of their closest title challengers Young Africans. Simba were eight-superior to their adversaries Yanga after defeating Mbeya City 3-1 in their last match at the National Stadium last Friday.
The team’s Head Coach, Frenchman Pierre Lechantre who expressed high hopes to win the 24th round, however, admitted beating Prisons won’t be an easy job.
“We respect Prisons as one of the best Premier League outfits, but we bank on our team work and fighting spirit to win not only against Prisons, but the rest of our league matches,” he said.
Adding, he said they will fight hard though they expect a stiff resistance from the Mbeya-based side. He said he banks on Emanuel Okwi-John Bocco partnership to deliver, though he admitted the partnership was not in the form he wanted. He promised to make rectifications on some departments to ensure the squad that faces Prisons today is formidable.
The coach said he was satisfied with the team’s training session and hoped the team’s fans would see the best of it in their today’s encounter. In their first round match held at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya, Simba won 1-0 and it was Bocco who netted the winner.
Simba are firm at the Premier League table with 55 points, the win in their today’s encounter will see them far ahead parading 58 points. Simba’s traditional rivals, Young Africans who are away to play Ethiopian opponents, Wollaita Dicha in CAF Confederation Cup drew 1-1 with Singida United in Dar es Salaam, giving a big relief to the leaders Simba.
Tanzania Prisons who play Simba today are placed fifth with 38 points, and if they win, they will climb to the fourth, a position which is held by Singida United who have notched 39 points so far. Other venue to see Premier League matches today is Kaitaba Stadium where Kagera Sugar host Mtibwa Sugar.
Three Premier League matches were staged yesterday in Iringa, Mwadui and Mwanza. At Samora Stadium in Iringa, hosts Lipuli FC defeated Singida United 1-0 while at Mwadui Complex in Shinyanga; hosts Mwadui suffered a 3-1 loss to Stand United in a four-goal thriller.
At CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza, relegation fighting Maji Maji held hosts Mbao FC to 2-2 draw in another goal infested thriller.