Dabang Mumbai broke a series of records in their most recent encounter at the 2016 CIL Hockey India League (HIL) as they staged a spectacular comeback against the Delhi Waveriders to stun them 8-3. The Alphas seem to have finally sorted out their problems and are currently looking an extremely confident and dangerous unit. Their ruthless attacking game in their last few matches has earned them three wins on the trot that pushed them to as high as the fourth spot in the table and very close to a semi-final berth.
Currently fifth in the standings, the high-flying Mumbai franchise will lock horns with the fourth-placed Jaypee Punjab Warriors at home on Friday. Mark Knowles’ men too have had their share of mixed fortunes in the fourth season of the HIL and are coming into this match after a 1-4 away loss to the Uttar Pradesh Wizards on Wednesday.
Facing the Mumbai outfit at home might be tricky, especially after how impressive the Alphas have looked lately, but the Warriors have the advantage of having prevailed over the hosts 3-1 in the first leg at Chandigarh. Can Dabang Mumbai turn the table this time around?
Date and Time: 12th February, 2016 – 5:50 PM (IST)
Telecast: English – Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD2; Digital Platform – Hotstar
Venue: Mahindra Hockey Stadium, Mumbai
Goalkeepers: David Harte, Xavi Trenchs, Krishan B Pathak
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Matthew Swann, Jeremy Hayward, Gurmail Singh, Andrew Philpott, Diwakar Ram
Midfielders: Nilakanta Sharma, Danish Mujtaba, Vikas Sharma, Tyron Pereira, Manpreet
Forwards: Florian Fuchs, Affan Yousuf, Johan Bjorkman, Gurjant Singh, Roshan Minz, Dylan Wotherspoon
Jaypee Punjab Warriors
Goalkeepers: Jugraj Singh, Tristan Clemons
Defenders: Varun Kumar, Harbir Singh Sandhu, Chris Ciriello, Mark Knowles, Nick Haig, Jasjit Singh Khular
Midfielders: Sardar Singh, Baljeet Singh Boparai, Simon Orchard, Matt Gohdes, Aiyappa Mukkatira Biddappa, Mark Gleghorne
Forwards: SV Sunil, Satbir Singh, Armaan Qureshi, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Nithin Thimmaiah, Jacob Whetton
Young Manpreet was the star of the show in Mumbai’s dazzling turnaround against the Delhi Waveriders in their last match as he scored a brace in as many minutes. His agility and resourcefulness were outstanding as the Alphas managed to slam in four field goals in an incredible fourth quarter that totally snatched the win from the Waveriders. Manpreet would have to show that same kind of vibrant energy on Friday to put the Alphas ahead.
The brilliant German international was left to rue missed opportunities during Dabang Mumbai’s outing against the Warriors in the Chandigarh leg. This time, the 24-year-old Olympic gold medallist would be aiming to make amends. With four field goals so far, the Alphas’ most expensive buy is currently the fifth-highest scorer this season and would use his thunderous pace to fire his team.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors’ Australian custodian Tristan Clemons was invaluable during their clash against the Alphas and was instrumental in keeping the charging visitors in check. His breathtaking saves denied Fuchs and the prolific Harmanpreet Singh time and again, thus paving the way for the Warriors’ 3-1 triumph. Barry Dancer’s men would need more of that effort from their goalie to push the Alphas to the backfoot.
English forward Mark Gleghorne was the only one from the Punjab team to breach the watertight defense of the Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the Warriors’ most recent showdown. The 30-year-old Commonwealth Games bronze medallist has had three penalty corner conversions in this fourth edition of the HIL and would definitely want to add to his tally on Friday.
Dabang Mumbai: L – L – W – W – W
Jaypee Punjab Warriors: L – W – L – W – L
(Most recent on the right)Published 11 Feb 2016, 21:21 IST