Football

CAF Champions League quarterfinals: Simba upbeat ahead of Kaizer Chiefs clash

CAF Champions League quarterfinal matches are set to played over the weekend with exciting matches on the cards. Mamelodi Sundowns are set to reunite with their former Coach Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly in Cairo while CR Belouizdad will host ES Tunis.

MC Alger will welcome Wydad AC but it is perhaps this last fixture that will excite East Africans as Simba SC, the sole East Africa’s representatives in the competition, will take on Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

The Wekundu wa Msimbazi as they are commonly referred to left Tanzania to South Africa via Kenya and are already settled and comfortable in Johannesburg.

Simba SC head into this game on the back of a five-match winning streak domestically since their last continental engagement and are comfortable at the top of the table ahead of Yanga and Azam. On the other hand, their hosts have only managed one win from the six matches and head into the match ranked tenth in the DSTV Premiership table.

Simba SC Head of Communication Haji Manara affirmed that the team is settled and rearing to go.

“The team is eager, the squad is complete. Everyone is waiting for the game on Saturday. We have no injuries as confirmed by the team doctor, which is a plus for us.  We are ready,” said Manara on the background of team training at the Discovery Soccer Park-Sandton in Johannesburg South Africa.

Reports however indicate that the Tanzanian Champions were forced to travel without injured Bernard Morrison Morrison is no stranger to South African football and especially Kaizer Chiefs having spent two years at Orlando Pirates between 2016 and 2018. Apart from Morrison, Simba have a clean bill of health.

On his part, team Captain John Bocco believes that the team is ready to fight it out for a semifinal slot. “I believe that the far that we have come is not because of luck, we have worked hard for it. Before the season kicked off, the club had targets, and as employees of the club, we are mandated to meet those targets. “

“They (Chiefs) are a good team but we believe that our preparations will get us a good result “adds Bocco.

Simba SC will be looking to go one better after dropping out of the 2019 competition at this very stage. Kaizer Chiefs on the other hand have been blowing hot and cold this season but beating “big” teams has not been one of their problems. The one win in six games came against Mamelodi Sundowns and Simba will be weary.

Simba SC will heavily depend on the sumptuous and scintillating form of duo Clatous Chota Chama and Louis Jose Miquissone while Gavin Hunt will hope Lebogang’ Manyama, Bernard Parker and Sebian marksman Smair Nurkovic turn up for the party.

Kenyan duo of Francis Kahata and Joash Onyango will face one of their own in the form of Kaizer Chiefs utility player Anthony Agay Akumu. Akumu and Kahata have been missing from their teams in recent weeks but given how much confidence Gavin Hunt has in Akumu, he is probably the likeliest of the two to have a taste of the action. Joash Onyango is a definite starter for Didier Gomes.

The two teams have never met in their history. This will be a good one to watch.

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