CAF eagle has landed for Tanzanian envoys

AS the preliminary round matches of CAF Interclub games begin this weekend, it is time to reflect on the level of preparation by the country’s envoys ahead of the continental level competitions.

Both Young Africans and Simba who compete in CAF Champions League (CAF CL) will be on the battlefield tomorrow engaging in the preliminary round fixtures of the biggest club level.

Yanga play Zalan FC of South Sudan at Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam tomorrow, a match that seems to give a slight advantage to the Jangwani Street side.

Though, however, that should not be a reality to rely on as things changes in football. As such the ball is already in Yanga’s court and they have all what it takes to make a meaningful impact.

Initially, the match was to be staged in South Sudan but due to insecurity, the management of Zalan FC requested to play their preliminary round encounters in the country. Putting this together, one can conclude that Yanga are favourites to emerge winners on the day, but on the pitch, football is always unpredictable since anything can change any time.

There is no need to underrate the South Sudan envoys because if they got a chance to represent South Sudan in the elite competitions means they are a good capable of causing surprises along the way.

The 2-2 draw Yanga recorded against Azam was a good test for them ahead of the Champions League game and if the technical bench addressed the shortcomings which transpired on the day, especially failure to defend set-pieces, then they can stamp success over Zalan.

So far, Nasreddine Nabi’s charges have already declared that their target is to venture into the group stage of the competition and that anything beyond that will be a bonus to them hence their journey to reach the destination begins against Zalan. Likewise, Simba also have away fixture as they visit Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi at Bingu Stadium in Lilongwe tomorrow for yet another tense encounter to the both teams.

In terms of investment and experience in CAF Inter-Club games, Simba are far away in comparison with the Malawi envoys and that alone gives the Msimbazi Street Reds a slight advantage to pick good results prior to the reverse leg in Dar es Salaam.

Yes, the Msimbazi Street giants have made several improvements in their squad purposely to withstand both domestic and international duels of which they have set semifinals as their primary target in the Champions League.

Their ousted coach Zoran Manojlovic was tasked to drive the club to the last four package of the competition but the two sides, on mutual agreement, have parted ways just a days before the champions league engagement.

The good thing is that Simba has quality players the likes of Clatous Chama, Jonas Mkude, Pape Sakho and Peter Banda and many others.

Simba players have what it takes transform the match any moment as it unfolds and facing a side which has not recorded big achievement in Champions League like Nyasa Big Bullets looks to be somehow an easy job even though football has its wonders.

Beginning the game away is again an advantage to Simba basing on the fact that they always have a great moment when playing at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium where they have big memories as far as the Champions League is concerned. Furthermore, the CAF Confederation Cup representatives Geita Gold have a big test to pass as they head on Hilal Alsahil at Al Hilal Stadium in Sudan this Sunday.

This is the first time for Geita Gold to play in the international tournament but have lately completed several signings for the sake of strengthening the squad. To predict how far they will go into the competition is another issue but the bottom line is that they are also well prepared to fly high the national flag and have full blessings from all Tanzanians.

Another Confederation Cup envoy, Azam will have to wait until in the second preliminary round when they will officially flag off their assignments. The good thing is that they also seem ready for the showdown and with the arrival of Frenchman trainer Denis Lavagne, the Chamazi giants believe he is going to take them further in the contest.

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