Fever has gripped fans and teams as Tanzania giants Simba SC and Young Africans (Yanga SC) head for their Mapinduzi Cup matches in Pemba and Zanzibar on Tuesday.
Yanga, who will start this year’s tournament by facing Jamhuri at Amaan Stadium, are optimistic to win the 13th edition after missing the event last year.
The team’s manager Abeid Mziba said during a press conference at Zanzibar Football Federation’s offices that they have a formidable squad which can easily overpower any team.
He said they play Jamhuri, one of Yanga’s friends from Zanzibar, but that friendship will be put aside when executing their duties.
“Jamhuri are our close Isles relatives, we respect them, but we won’t spare them when on the pitch. We want to win the match and advance,” Mziba is quoted by Daily News.
On his side, Jamhuri FC skipper Mohamed Juma Mohamed said they are well-drilled for the challenge and hopes his team will get positive results.
“We conceded a big number of goals last year, our opponents should not think it will be the same this year," Mohamed said.
Jamhuri suffered a 6-0 defeat to Yanga when the teams met at Amaan Stadium in last year's event.
The match between Simba and Zimamoto at Gombani Stadium in Pemba has also been a big talking point in various areas of the Zanzibar and Pemba.
Zimamoto coach Hassan Abdulrahman said he expects a tough encounter against Simba, but he believes his boys would emerge victors at the end of tense 90 minutes.
Simba, who firmly holds the Mainland Premier League’s crown, are pooled in a Group B, whose matches are staged at Gombani Stadium in Pemba.