DEFENDING champions, Simba face yet another tough test in the Vodacom Premier League (VPL), as they play host to an in-form third placed Coastal Union at the Uhuru Stadium today.
The match comes hardy three days after the Msimbazi Street lads snatched a controversial 3-2 win over determined Namungo FC from Lindi at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The defending champions survived a scare from Namungo on Wednesday in the city with Meddie Kagere rescuing what seemed to be a draw match as his controversial 88th minute goal enabled his side to emerge winners.
Following the victory, Simba maintained their grip of the top spot on 44 points from 17 outings, while Namungo remained fifth on 28 points after playing 16 matches.
The visitors had to come from behind twice to level the score sheet but failed to do the same after the third goal was scored by the hosts, who are eager to retain the championship for the third time in a row.
However, in their recent matches Simba have not been putting a convincing performance and are shipping in many goals.
In fact, Simba Head Coach Sven Vandenbroeck and fans alike have not been pleased with the performance of the team in their previous two matches and this is why the Belgian trainer said he will make a couple of changes in his squad to face Coastal Union Vandenbroeck said his charges will need to change from lateral display and be much more direct.
“What I observed from the game against Namungo is that some players cannot swallow the load of too many back to back games, which made the team lack energy throughout the match,” he said.
He added that to solve the problem, he will make a lot of changes on Saturday (today) and also attacked his players for playing a lot sideways instead of going forward, while lauding the second goal scored by their opponents which put the game at 2-2 describing them as a team with quality players.
“Although we gave a fatigue impression, we still made a difference in the end. I’m not satisfied with how we played… too much lateral, instead of going forward so that is something for the next game we have to remember.”
Moreover, the Belgian trainer said he was upset with too many goals they have been conceding in almost each game played lately, a situation he said need to change. Simba have conceded six goals in five matches.
“We cannot hide the fact that we are conceding a lot of goals and that is an area we need to work on ahead of our next game. Every ball in our area is dangerous,” he said.
Such trend will likely give confidence to Coastal Union to challenge for maximum points today.
Juma Mgunda charges know that they can score against Simba’s leaking defence, compounded with the miss of Pascal Wawa, who sustained injury during the previous game.
Mgunda, who is satisfied with the performance of his side, having put together such an impressive run in the league in which they sit third on 30 points from 17 matches will be seeking to stun the giants.
However, it will be a tough call away, basing on the narrative that they remain underdogs to higher-profile clubs.
Other matches of the day will see struggling Ndanda taking on Alliance FC of Mwanza at the Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium in Mtwara, while Singida United will be travelling to Bukoba to face hosts Kagera Sugar at Kaitaba Stadium.
Tanzania Prisons will host KMC at their new home ground, Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma, while Namungo will host Mbao FC at the Kassim Majaliwa Stadium in Ruangwa, Lindi region.
The day will also see Ruvu Shooting welcoming Lipuli FC at Mabatini ground in Mlandizi, Coast region, whereas Mwadui FC will take on Biashara United at Karume Stadium in Mara.