Simba SC and rivals Young Africans (Yanga SC) will miss some of their key players when they clash in the final of the Mapinduzi Cup on Wednesday.
The two Tanzanian giants will meet for the second time this season in the Kariakoo derby at Amaan Stadium in Arusha, but each team will have to navigate the final without some of their key players.
Simba will miss the services of 11 players - midfielder Clatous Chama, Luis Miquissone, Larry Bwalya, who were given a break atter their Caf Champions League triumph against FC Platinum from Zimbabwe, keeper Aishi Manula, John Bocco, Erasto Nyoni, Shomari Kapombe, and Said Ndemla, who are in the Tanzania squad preparing for the African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament to be staged in Cameroon.
Others are Jonas Mkude, who has been suspended by the club for alleged misconduct, Charles Ilanfya, who is not fit to play, and Ivorian defender Pascal Wawa, who is unwell.
On the other hand, Yanga will miss nine players - winger Carlos Carlinhos, who is nursing a knee injury, Balama Mapinduzi, out injured, Lamine Moro, who was given a two-week break, Yassin Mustapha, Deus Kaseke, Ditram Nchimbi, Feisal Salum, and Farid Mussa, who are part of the Taifa Stars squad for Chan.
Despite the absence of the aforementioned players, both coaches have promised fans who will attend the match an entertaining derby final.
Simba assistant coach Selemani Matola is confident since they have enjoyed a good run in the competition and will carry the day.
“A final is a final, there is no easy final if you check now, we had many teams in this tournament but now we have remained two [against Yanga], and I know the game will not be easy, we will plan ourselves, we know the difficulties of playing against them, and our aim is to win the title,” Matola told reporters ahead of the match.
On his part, Yanga coach Cedric Kaze is optimistic about earning revenge against their rivals and lifting the trophy.
“The last time we played against them in the competition we lost, and so we have to rectify that, we can here with one plan, to win the trophy and now that we have reached in the final, we don’t have any other option but to make sure we lift the trophy,” Kaze told reporters.
The last time the two teams met in the final of the tournament was in 2011, when Simba emerged winners after a 2-1 win.
Wednesday's clash kicks off at 20.15 EAT time.