Da Rosa: Simba SC to rest players against African Lyon in domestic cup

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The Frenchman explains he will rotate the squad to face the Division one side in their fourth round tie of the domestic cup

Simba SC coach Didier Gomez Da Rosa has confirmed he will rotate his squad when they face African Lyon in the domestic cup competition on Friday.

The Msimbazi giants will host the division one side as they seek to retain the title they won last season and also clinch a treble, as they are firmly in the Mainland Premier League title race as well as the Caf Champions League.

Simba will play at their favourite Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, where they made history three days ago, becoming the first African team to beat coach Pitso Mosimane 1-0 since the South African took charge to handle Al Ahly from Mamelodi Sundowns.

Ahead of the fourth round fixture, Frenchman Da Rosa has confirmed he will rest a large number of players who did duty against the African champions and give the chance to other players in the squad to show what they are made of.

“Tomorrow [Friday] we will give a chance to other players in the squad to show their fans they are also in good form and can do the job like the rest of the squad,” Da Rosa told the club’s social media pages on Thursday.

“We want to give a break to the regular starters, they have done a fantastic job [beating Al Ahly] and must also get some day off to freshen up, they need a rest and I will have to rotate my squad.”

On his part, Simba media officer Haji Manara has maintained the team is aware of the importance of the game and they will not underestimate their opponents.

“We are the defending champions and would like to win it again this season as such, we have urged the squad not to underestimate African Lyon as they too want to go further in the competition,” Manara said as quoted by Daily News.

“As a club, we have already set our targets for this season of which we want to defend both the domestic cup and the top-flight league. We can ill-afford not to progress into the quarterfinals of the Champions League but there is no way we can give away the league title this season.”

The domestic competition will give coach Da Rosa a chance to see the fitness of his key striker John Bocco, who has recovered from the injury he picked up while with the Tanzania national team at the African Nations Championships in Cameroon.

Bocco could be handed a start, so too Kenyan midfielder Francis Kahata, who came on as a second-half substitute in the historic win against the Red Devils on Tuesday.

Other players who could start in the game include keeper Ben Kakolanya, who will come in for Aishi Manula, and Jonas Mkude, who is yet to play for the team since he was forgiven and drafted back into the squad after his alleged misconduct.

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