Benchika ready for first league duel

DAR ES SALAAM: SIMBA Head Coach Abdelhak Benchikha said they are well prepared to face Kagera Sugar in today’s solo Premier League match to be staged at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

It is the first league assignment to the coach and ninth for Simba this season, as they target to come back to winning ways after being held to a 1-1 draw by Namungo in their previous league assignment at the same venue.

Speaking at a pre-match briefing yesterday in the city, Benchikha remarked that it is a must win match for them as they want to claim maximum points.

“We have prepared well after a long trip from Morocco and we have enough information about our opponents Kagera Sugar; they are a good team and they play decent football.

“Working for Simba is a motivation for me and my players because we always think about winning. We respect all teams in the league, but for this match, we must win … we are going to miss about two players due to injury but the rest of the players are ready for the game,” he said.

Furthermore, the Algerian coach revealed that he will make a couple of changes in his squad for today’s game, as one way of reserving enough energy before hosting Wydad Casablanca in the CAF Champions League (CAF CL) encounter next week.

“I do not know how many changes I will make but we have to, because the next game is the finale to us but for now. Tomorrow (today)’s match is very important for us to do well,” he said.

On his part, Simba’s goalkeeper, Ally Salim, on behalf of his teammates also insisted that they are ready for the match and they are going to battle to ensure they earn maximum points.

“As the coach already said, we need to win so that we can have confidence ahead of the Champions League game, and we are ready to do our best to earn victory,” he said.

For Kagera Sugar, Coach Mecky Mexime conceded that they are set to face a strong team that plays in the Champions League, with players who can change the game at any moment.

“They are physically and mentally strong, because of the international matches they are exposed to…we should therefore be cautious throughout the game by not underrating them,” he said.

He also pointed out that all his players in the squad are well drilled for the big match saying it is not going to be easy for either side.

As it stands, Kagera Sugar has collected 13 points from 11 games and is occupying 12th slot having won three matches, four draws, and six defeats.

On head-to-head statistics, Simba SC has won 15  matches while Kagera Sugar won five matches, and seven matches ended in a draw. In the previous league season, Simba won the first leg match by 2-0 in Dar es Salaam and were held to a 1-1 draw at Kaitaba Stadium in Kagera in the second leg.

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