Simba SC fans are promising us that there will be war in Dar es Salaam while Platinum FC are talking about skinning lions. It is all so weird. One of these teams will be taking their place in the 2020/2021 CAF Champions League Group Stage in a tie that is still very open.
Simba SC Probable XI: Manula – Kapombe, Hussein, Onyango, Wawa – Dilunga, Yassin – Miquissone, Chama, Mugalu – Kagere (4-2-3-1).
Platinum FC Probable XI: Mhari – Muduviwa, Stima, Mhlanga, Chikore – Madzogwe, Pavari, Jasper Band – Mbweti, Ngala, Chikwende (4-3-3).
The match will be played at the Benjamin Mkapa stadium on 6th January 2021. Kickoff time is 4pm CAT.
What is at Stake?
Platinum FC are living off continental football as the Zimbabwean league has not resumed since being halted in early 2020 – as was the case with the rest of the world. There are fears that failing to reach the CAFCL Group Stage will see them lose key players to the likes of Simba SC and Yanga SC.
Simba SC has only scored one goal in three CAF Champions League matches this season. This is an embarassing return for a side that has spent a lot of money assembling arguably the most high profile squad in East Africa. Nobody wants to see them drop to the CAF Confederation Cup playoff round.
What will the Match be Like?
The Tanzanian side showed signs of life in their most recent match, where they beat Ihefu FC 4-0. Previously, goals had dried up for Simba not just continentally but also in the domestic scene. But most of the players who featured in that win will not be starting against Platinum FC.
Another player who is likely not to feature is Jonas Mkude. He has been suspended by the club over reasons unknown to me. This may force, coach, Sven Vandenbroeck to alter his approach and add another creative or attacking bone in his midfield. Will it be Kahata? I do not know (neither are we avoiding John Bocco issue).
Platinum FC will largely maintain the starting XI that won them the first leg. Another thing we know about Platinum FC is that they will try and “park the bus” again and look to create chances on the counter-attack. This is what their coach, Norman Mapenza, confirmed to the Tanzanian media.
The Zimbabweans resorted to defending after taking the lead in Harare yet still looked vulnerable. The team will need to demonstrate high levels of concentration to survive the onslaught by Simba in front of their home fans. We do hear that Yanga SC fans will be out to support Platinum FC though.
Simba SC 2-0 Platinum FC
If Platinum FC choose to play conservatively then they will play right into Simba SC’s hands. We are not confident that the Zimbabweans have the quality to put away whatever counter-attacking chances they will get in Dar-es-Salaam.
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