Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh face do-or-die HIL battle (Preview)
Mumbai, Feb 15 (IANS) With an eye to semi-final berth, both Dabang Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh Wizards will aim to clinch victory in their last league game when they clash in the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) match at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium here on Tuesday.
Mumbai are at the bottom of the table with 20 points from nine games, having won three and lost six matches while Wizards are at the fourth place with 23 points from nine games, winning four and losing five.
It will be the last game of the league stage for both the teams. A win for either team can help them earn a spot in the semis, a loss dashing those dreams.
Mumbai come into Tuesday’s match after a 0-1 away loss against table toppers and defending champions Ranchi Rays, whereas Wizards suffered a 0-6 hammering at the hands of Ranchi, who have already qualified for the semis after a consistent run.
Mumbai after losing first four matches came back well by getting their combination right but failed to impress in the past few outings. The home team will aim to keep things simple and hope their skipper Matthew Swann leads his troops from the front and ensure a semis berth.
Australia international Swann, who has been dictating the flow of the game, will be the key once again.
Besides Swann, German star Florian Fuchs will be someone to watch out for, considering his pace and ability to score at crucial junctures of the game.
On the other hand, it will not be easy for visiting side as they are facing a strong and young side who has the capability to surprise opponents.
Captain V.R. Raghunath, along with Gonzallo Peillat, Wouter Jolie and Gurinder Singh, goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh will have to step in on Tuesday with midfielders Tobias Hauke, Eddie Ockenden, Chinglensana Singh and Vikas Pillay to ensure the visitors a victory.
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