Simba coach Patrick Aussems is counting on his team’s unbeaten home record in the Caf Champions League, as they prepare to face Tout Puissant Mazembe in Saturday's quarter-final first leg at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium.
While they have been poor on the road, Simba appear nearly invincible in Dar es Salaam.
At home, they have beaten Al Ahly, Association Sportive Vita, and Jeunesse Sportive de la Saoura in the group stage, as well as Nkana and Mbabane Swallows in the earlier rounds.
“It is a good thing to have such record but beating Mbabane or Nkana is different to TP Mazembe. However we managed also to secure victory against our group favorites Al Ahly and AS Vita so we have good confidence ahead of the game,” Aussems told Cafonline.
“If you can see before the group stage we played well against Mbabane and won it away, also against Nkana though we lost. But when we reached the group stage, we changed the approach and focused much on home game. We understand that this time we need to play well at home and away, we are working on that.”
The Belgian has, however, admitted that facing TP Mazembe would be a difficult task.
It is the first time for Simba to reach this stage of the competition, while TP Mazembe boast of five continental titles.
“This is very tough. We are talking of the team that has won several African cups in the past five years. TP Mazembe is a big team and we expect a tough game on Saturday. Even though this Mazembe may not be as strong as that of past few years but still they are the best comparing to Simba,” Aussems added
It would be the second time for Simba to face Congolese opponents this season, after they were thumped 5-0 by AS Vita away in the group phase, before winning 2-1 at home in the return leg.
“These two teams come from same country and you shall expect similarities though not 100 percent. Their style of play is somehow similar but we need to agree that Vita is now history and we need to prepare for another tough game," he continued.
Simba players like Zambian midfielder Cletous Chama, veteran Rwandan forward Meddie Kagere as well as Tanzania internationals John Bocco and Erasto Nyoni have been enjoying some good form in the Champions League.
Also giving the Tanzanian giants confidence ahead of the Mazembe game is the fact that they have won 10 straight domestic league games.