YOUNG Africans and Azam FC return to Mainland Premier League action today with both sides targeting to strengthen their title race campaign.
Both Yanga and Azam were sidelined for the past one week because they were competing in just ended 2020 Mapinduzi Cup in Zanzibar.
Yanga, who were dumped out of the Mapinduzi Cup in semifinal stage by Mtibwa Sugar 4-2 in post-match penalty shootouts, will be facing Kagera Sugar at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The match will present the first test for newly assembled technical bench under Belgian tactician, Luc Eymael, who penned down a short-term contract with club.
Eymael, who coached the South Africa topflight side, Black Leopards, watched from the stand as Yanga lost to Mtibwa Sugar in Mapinduzi Cup encounter at Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar last Thursday.
Eymael also managed to rope in his former fitness trainer at Free State Stars Riedoh Berdien to be his assistant at Yanga.
He has promised to do his best to make sure they compete for trophies alongside defending champions Simba and Azam. Yanga will need nothing but victory today, to climb up the ladder.
They are currently positioned seventh on the log on 25 points from 12 games.
The Jangwani Street side will be buoyed with the new signings in January mini-transfer window.
Ditram Nchimbi, Tariq Seif, Adyeum Ahmad, Haruna Niyonzima and Gislein Yikpe are likely to be deployed as Yanga looked determined to give their rivals Simba a stiff competition in the title race.
However, Kagera Sugar’s Head Coach Mecky Maxime has cautioned Yanga that they should not expect an easy ride in today’s game, as his team is also targeting for maximum points, which will see them scaling up the ladder.
Kagera Sugar, who lost 2-1 to Polisi Tanzania in their previous game, are settled eighth on the league table with 24 points from 16 outings.
Later in the evening at the same venue today, Azam who currently placed fourth on the league chart with 26 points from 13 games, will also be looking to resume their campaign positively by facing sixth placed Lipuli FC.
Azam were dethroned from Mapinduzi Cup by Simba in the semifinals stage following a 3-2 defeat in a postmatch penalty shootouts, will be looking to strengthen their title race campaign especially after making some spending in January mini-transfer window, which closes tonight.
The ice-cream makers have made two signings todate-- recruiting Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum midfielder, Never Tigere and Mlandege SC attacking midfielder Khleffin Hamdoun.
It will be a tough test for Azam because Lipuli, who lost their previous game to KMC, will come out fire blazing to get back on track.
They will face Azam without their Burundian coach Haruna Harerimana, who left the Iringa based club and joined KMC for a one and half year contract.