AfricaPress-Tanzania: THE Mainland Premier League resumes actions on Thursday with four teams engaged in two separate venues.
The league is back after the end of 21- day mourning of the death of the former President, John Magufuli, who passed away three weeks ago in Dar es Salaam.
According to the fixture released by Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB) eight games will be played from today to Saturday while the ninth game between the defending champions, Simba and Ruvu Shooting to be staged on Sunday has been postponed because Simba will be engaged in CAF Champions League assignment on Friday night in Cairo.
In today’s fixture Mbeya City and Kagera Sugar who are among the six bottom-placed sides, will meet at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya. Mbeya City who are positioned 16th, host the 13th-placed Kagera Sugar as both sides are battling to rescue themselves from the relegation zone.
Namungo FC will welcome Ihefu FC at Majaliwa Stadium. Namungo, who have not yet won a match in their CAF Confederation Cup’s group stage will be looking to retain their winning formula after losing all three games in their group. Namungo, who are positioned 10th need to pull up their socks if they really need to get another chance to represent the country in the continental tournaments next season although they have a big advantage against their opponents who are placed 17th at the relegation zone.
After today’s games, the league will continue on Friday with the third-placed Azam FC facing Mtibwa Sugar at Azam Complex.
The ice-cream makers who have missed the continental level showpieces for a couple of seasons, are likely to play seriously to ensure they don’t squander a chance to play in the continental level events next season, especially this time when Tanzania is expected to have four slots in the continental level showpieces.
They are playing against Mtibwa who are placed 14th, but the George Lwandamina’s side must work hard as their opponents are usually unpredictable and a hard nut to crack especially when it comes to big matches. As relegation troubled team, Mtibwa Sugar are likely to fight tooth and nail to rid themselves of the relegation danger.
A win will see Azam who are on 44points, leapfrogging the defending champions Simba into the second slot and this might be their main target. Simba have bagged 46 points, four points behind leaders Young Africans who have notched 50 points. But Simba have three games in hand.
Yanga will return in the league action on Saturday by facing the fifthplaced KMC at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium. On the same day, the fourthplaced Biashara United, with 39 points, will battle it with Polisi Tanzania who are at the middle of the table with 30 points. The game will be staged at Karume Stadium in Musoma.
They will be looking to pile pressure on Azam for the top-three slot. Another game lined up for the day will be between the bottom-placed Mwadui who will be in Dodoma to face JKT Tanzania at the Jamhuri Stadium. Both sides are battling to rescue themselves from the relegation zone.
The 25th round of the league will wind up on Saturday when Tanzania Prisons host Dodoma Jiji at Nelson Mandela Stadium in Katavi while Gwambina will be at home to host Coastal Union of Tanga at Gwambina Stadium in Misungwi