THE losers will stay dumb when the winners cheer at the end of the explosive Dar es Salaam derby between Simba and Young Africans at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam today.
It is simply a title decisive encounter as victory will see Simba reduce the 8-point gap to five points thereby putting themselves back in the race for the championship while also praying their opponents to lose other matches after the derby.
On the other hand, a win will enable Yanga to extend the lead to a 11-point gap at the top of the table, assuring them an opportunity to retain the league’s silverware for the second time in a row.
In a pre-match briefing yesterday in the city, Simba Head Coach Roberto Oliveira said the consistent positive results that his side has had in competitive matches gives them an advantage to carry the day.
“In derbies, anything can happen and we have prepared well to face Yanga…of course, we respect them, but we are going to compete for the good performance,” he said.
Additionally, Oliveira commented positively on his lethal striker Jean Baleke saying he is having a nice moment in the team and that they will play as a team.
“For me, football is an art and I like to see talents on the pitch. Tanzania has got many talented players and that is good,” said the Brazilian trainer who takes charge his first derby duel in the country.
His Assistant Captain Mohamed Hussein insisted that they have grasped well whatever their coaches has tasked them to do during the big game.
“We understand that this is a title decisive match to us because if we win, it will get us back on the title race as such, our preparations have focused to generate maximum points and nothing else,” he said.
On his part, Yanga Assistant Coach Cedric Kaze reiterated that it is an entertaining match and are ready to face their traditional rivals with no pressure at all.
“The good thing is that we have an injury-free squad except one player, Abutwalib Mshery who is still nursing to injury but the rest are ready and fit to go on the battlefield.
“We need to show good game to satisfy our fans because it is rare to play these matches. It is a motivation game to us because a win guarantees us a 90 percent chance to defend the championship,” insisted Kaze.
He also indicated that performance levels of his club has been improving in their recently played matches in all competitions, stressing that it is a good indicator for them to stamp success.
His midfielder Mudathir Yahya also disclosed that their preparations have been going on well and it is now a period to what they have trained into practice.
“Both teams have quality players and the most important thing is for us to fully concentrate on the match and we are confident to do well,” he said.