YOUNG Africans resume their Premier League campaign today, hosting diehards KMC at Benjamin Mkapa stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The Premier League’s title race leaders, Yanga appear on the pitch after being out of action for three weeks to mourn the sudden demise of the late President John Magufuli.
This time Yanga will be without their head coach Cedric Kaze, who was fired following the team’s dismal show in their league matches.
In their last six matches, Yanga managed four draws, one win and a loss, thus pocketing 9 points instead of targeted 18 points, a performance which angered both fans and the management.
Now under the tutelage of Juma Mwambusi, Yanga will be facing the first test against the fifth-placed Kinondoni Municipal Council (KMC).
Though they are still commanding the driver’s seat with 50 points from 23-match outings, Yanga can be leapfrogged by their traditional rivals and closest pursuers Simba who have many matches in hand.
Their utmost goal in their today’s encounter is to collect three maximum points and renew their race to claim the league’s diadem.
Yanga are trying to strengthen their lead against their big challengers Simba, Azam and Biashara Mara.
Until the league resumption, Simba are still second-placed after pocketing 46 points from 20 games followed by Azam who have carved 44 points from 23 games, and both of them have a chance to leapfrog the leaders.
Yanga in their today’s match, will miss the services of their four key players; Farid Mussa, Mapinduzi Balama, Mustapha Yassin and Haruna Niyonzima due to various reasons.
However, the clubs officials said rest of players are fit to take on KCM today.
Speaking about today’s encounter, coach Mwambusi has predicted a tough and highly competitive game, but he was optimistic to win as his team is well drilled for the today’s encounter.
However, it seems to be not easy to beat KMC with 35 points from 24-game outings.
Taking into consideration that Yanga won 2-1 in their first round match at CCM Kirumba stadium, KMC are likely to be seeking for a sweet revenge.
In that match KMC took the lead through Hassan Kabunda in the 26th minute before Yanga equalised through penalty taken by Tusila Kisinda in the 39th minute. Later Wazir Junior scored the winner for Yanga.
Meanwhile, Yanga have urged Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) and match officials to be fair in their decisions. The call has been made after the club complained of being treated unfairly in the matches.
The league which resumed this week after the end of the three-week mourning period, saw Ihefu FC forcing a draw with Namungo FC as Mbeya City also drew with Kagera Sugar at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya.
Namungo failed to utilise the home ground advantage after a 1-1 draw at Majaliwa Stadium in Ruangwa, Lindi.
Yesterday, the fourth-placed Biashara United were also held to a 1-1 draw with visitors Polisi Tanzania at Karume Stadium in Musoma while JKT Tanzania stamped a 3-1 victory over Mwadui at Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma