In Summary

Reigning champions have assembled a striking force led by Meddie Kagere and Emmanuel Okwi as they play a side that has more often than not proven to be a headache

Dar es Salaam. Simba today play unpredictable rivals African Lyon in a crucial encounter at the National Stadium in the ongoing Tanzania Mainland Premier League.

The reigning champions have assembled a striking force that’s expected to be led by Meddie Kagere and Emmanuel Okwi as they take on Lyon, a side that has more often than not proven to be a hard nut to crack.

Captain John Bocco, still serving suspension, will miss the game that is one of the major highlights of this weekend’s matches.

Apart from that, another tough match will be at the Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya Region, where Tanzania Prisons face their archrivals Mbeya City. Kick-off is 4 pm.

Singida United play against Ndanda FC at the Namfua Stadium while Kagera Sugar meet Ruvu Shooting at the Kaitaba Stadium. Mtibwa Sugar will take on KMC at the Manungu ground.

But it is the match at the National Stadium that is expected to be the most thrilling considering the desperation in the reigning champions’ camp to grab three points and move up the ladder.

Simba are now placed eighth with 13 points from six matches while African Lyon are placed 16th after collecting six points from eight matches. A victory for Simba could catapult them to the fourth position (depending on other teams’ results) while a victory for African Lyon could move them up to 12th, also depending on other results.

Simba head coach Patrick Aussems said his side was ready for the encounter. “We need the best results, and we do not underrate our opponents,” said Aussems.

African Lyon owner Rahim Kangezi said they were very much aware of the importance of this match, and believed they would deliver their best.

“It is a crucial match to us; we need to play with determination as we want to improve our position in the league standings. We have committed players and their spirits are high.”