MAINLAND envoys Simba play JS Saoura in a tricky CAF Champions League game in Bechar, Algeria tomorrow night, a clash that places Meddie Kagere against Mustafa Djalit in marksmanship race.
Kagere, the no-nonsense Simba hit man will be trying to prove his scoring ability in Algeria after stellar performances in Dar es Salaam and Mbabane, while the little known Algerian side will be banking on Mustafa Djallit, the team’s captain and the key scorer.
Djalit is the team’s top scorer in the Algerian Professional League with three goals, but very far behind the league’s top scorer Zakaria Naidji of Adou FC, who has netted 17 goals.
JS Saoura are placed sixth in the Algerian top flight league with 31points garnered from 20 games, while Simba are placed third in Mainland top flight on 51 points from 20 matches.
Simba have a shocking away record in the group, twice suffering 5-0 hidings. However, Simba skipper, John Bocco has said the team was in great spirit and raring to go, ahead their group D clash.
Simba, who are placed second in group with six points, a point behind group leaders Al Ahly of Egypt, landed in Algiers on Wednesday in time for the clash.
According to reports from Algeria, all players are in high spirit. The team had training session yesterday ahead of the game set to kick of 22 hours (EAT).
The game will be staged at Stade 20 Août 1955 in Bechar town located on the western Algeria.
It will be officiated by referee Jean-Jacques Ndala Ngambo from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who will be assisted by his compatriot Olivier Safari Kabene and Soulaimane Amaldine from Comoro.
And, skipper Bocco promised the club supporters that the team will put up a big fight to ensure they post positive results to remain in contention for a place into the quarterfinals of the continental top tier clubs championship.
Bocco said missing key striker, Emmanuel Okwi and versatile defender, Erasto Nyoni and other key players won’t affect their performance against JS Saoura, who have proved to be a difficult side to beat at their home ground.
Head Coach, Patrick Aussems is also upbeat ahead of the match, saying that his charges are ready to break Algeria’s JS Saoura’s unbeaten home record in CAF Champions League.
Simba already have a positive record over the Algerians having defeated them 3-0 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam in the first round, which saw their coach Nabil Neghiz fired.
Aussems said he is not afraid with the current good home record by their opponents since everything has the beginning and an end.
“It is true that JS Saoura have not lost any match in the ongoing CAF Champions League group stage but we are ready to break that and collect maximum three points there,” the Belgian said.
He added that so far, he has observed that every team in the competition is doing well in their respective home matches just like the way his side has done in the past two games.
Their Algerian opponents JS Saoura are third on the log with five points, while AS Vita from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) tails the group with four points. If Simba manage to secure maximum points or a point, they will strengthen chances of heading into the last-eight stage.
Missing Okwi through a knee injury, means Simba’s striking force against JS Saoura will be formed by hit man Meddie Kagere and Bocco.
Experienced defender Jjuuko Murshid is suspended after picking two yellow cards, while Nyoni was reportedly left due to lack of match fitness after recovering from injury.