A reshaped Simba go head to head against Dodoma Jiji in an explosive match that ignites the 21st round of the Premier League at Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma today.
But this time around, the Msimbazi Street Reds will be missing nine regular players, with four of them; Joash Onyango, Mzamiru Yassin, Pape Sakho, and Sadio Kanoute facing a one-match suspension after picking three straight yellow cards in their past matches.
Those on the injury list are Henock Inonga, Moses Phiri, Peter Banda, Jonas Mkude, and Clatous Chama, a situation which compels the technical staff to make several adjustments to the starting eleven.
However, this is the opportunity for Simba fans to witness how their new recruits Ismael Sawadogo, Jean Baleke and Mohammed Mussa perform if given playing time.
During a pre-match briefing yesterday, Simba Head Coach Roberto Oliveira said the time is now for them to showcase good football which will produce good results in the end.
“We had a fruitful one-week camp in Dubai and we have to show good football to our fans. In order to become champions, getting three points is very important,” Oliveira said.
Moreover, the Brazilian trainer highlighted that one of his main objectives is to help the team win the CAF Champions League title saying there is nothing to prevent them from achieving that.
His right-hand man Juma Mgunda responded to a question as to why the team’s midfield maestro Chama did not make the trip, he replied that he has flu and malaria.
“Let me be clear on Chama issue, the fact is that he is recovering from flu and malaria that is why it was not possible for him to travel with us.
The same reason is what made him be substituted early in our past league match versus Mbeya City.
“No coach can opt not to feature good players in his team and Simba family should understand that there is no other reason behind Chama’s failure to come with us here,” cemented Mgunda.
He also revealed that they have much respect for Dodoma Jiji saying they are among the most competitive teams in the league and are always lethal when playing at their home turf.
On his part, the hosting side’s Assistant Coach Kassim Liogope also forecasted a tough match saying they are playing against one of the renowned teams in Africa.
“We have a big game tomorrow (today) but all I can say is that our players are in good shape and ready for the showdown. Basing on preparations we have had, I am sure that we are going to fight for success,” he said.
He added that losing 2-0 to Geita Gold in their previous encounter should not demoralize them but rather instill a strong fighting spirit to carry the day.
According to available statistics, Dodoma Jiji have never won any competitive match against Simba in all competitions and whether they can erase this record today remain a puzzle.