New Premier League fixture sparks Simba,Yanga clashes
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THE country’s giants, Simba and Young Africans will clash twice in less than two months, with the Community Shield game coming first on August 23, this year.

The fixture released yesterday by Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) shows the team will meet again 52 days later in October in league match at the National Stadium.

The 2017/18 league fixture released yesterday by Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) found both sides fully engaged in handpicking players before the transfer window business ends this month. According to the fixture, the football giants will play again on October 14.

The federation’s Information and Communication Officer, Alfred Lucas said 52 days after the Community Shield match the two giants will meet for the third time, this year.

So as usual the eagerly awaited Dar derby will see Simba who finished second in the previous season hosting their rivals and Kariakoo neighbour’s the Jangwani street based club, Yanga at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on the second weekend of October, this year, in the first round of the Mainland league.

In their last encounter, Simba defeated Young Africans 2-1 with one man down after fullback, Javier Bokungu was given marching orders in the second half while the two sides were tied 1-1, before Simba won in later minutes through Shiza Kichuya’s goal.

According to Lucas, the fixture of the Mainland Premier league will officially start on August 26, this year and end on May 20, next year.

The league defending champions, Yanga under their Zambian tactician George Lwandamina will kick their title defence campaign against the newly promoted side, Lipuli FC from Iringa region at the National Stadium on August 27.

Whereas their traditional rivals, Simba will kick off their campaign against Ruvu Shooting on the league’s opening day on August 26 at the National Stadium, their Dar es Salaam rivals, Azam FC will be away in Mtwara to face Ndanda FC at the Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium.

Also promoted this season, Singida United will start their campaign away by facing Mwadui in Mwadui while their fellow league newcomers, Njombe Mji will travel to Mbeya to test Tanzania Prisons at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya.

Kagera Sugar who finished third in the last season will host Mwanza-based Mbao FC at Kaitaba Stadium in Kagera, whereas Mtibwa Sugar will face Stand United at Manungu in Morogoro. Mbeya City will play against Majimaji at the Majimaji Stadium in Songea, Ruvuma region.

Sports analysts expect a tougher season as the teams seemed to be well-equipped this season unlike the last season when the title race was solely a Yanga-Simba affair. But at the end both teams finished the league tied 68 points, before Yanga retaining the title on superior goal average.

Apart from the race for the top title, there was also a battle to escape relegation which saw JKT Ruvu, African Lyon and Toto Africans demoted to the First Division League (FDL).

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