Dabang Mumbai vs Uttar Pradesh Wizards: Preview, TV Channel Info, Squad, Form Guide, Key Players
The Dabang Mumbai vs Uttar Pradesh Wizards clash at the 2016 Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) at Mumbai on Tuesday is of vital importance as this is the last chance for either to make it through to the semi-finals. In this de facto quarter-final match, a win virtually ensures the much-coveted berth in the last-four stage of the tournament.
UP Wizards are currently placed fourth in the table with 23 points while the Alphas are languishing at the bottom with 20 points. A victory on Tuesday can change the entire scenario as it can shoot up the home team to as high as the third spot.
Both the sides are arriving into this contest on the back of losses in their respective recent encounters. While Jay Stacy’s men had successfully got out of their lean phase and recorded three consecutive victories, they have tasted defeat in their last two matches with a narrow 0-1 loss to the table-toppers Ranchi Rays being the most recent result. The Wizards too did not have any luck in their last assignment and were thumped 0-6 by the Rays.
Having said that, it is Dabang Mumbai who should be going into this crucial tie with more confidence than the UP Wizards as they enjoyed a 2-1 triumph in their Lucknow meeting. Can the Alphas find their mojo again?
Date and Time: 16th February, 2016 – 5:50 PM (IST)
Telecast: English – Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD2; Hindi – Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD3; 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
Uttar Pradesh Wizards
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Suraj Karkera
Defenders: VR Raghunath, Gonzalo Peillat, Wouter Jolie, Gurinder Singh, Nicholas Spooner, Sunil Yadav
Midfielders: Eddie Ockenden, Chinglensana Singh, Vikas Pillay, Agustin Mazzilli
Forwards: Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Jamie Dwyer, Kenny Bain, PR Aiyappa, M Gunasekar, Tobias Hauke, Harmanpreet Singh Bal
Rising Indian player Affan Yousuf may not be on the goalscorers’ list at the 2016 HIL but he is someone who can change the course of the game. The 21-year-old was also part of the 2013 Sultan of Johor Cup-winning Indian team and has the potential to trouble the opposition’s defence with his brilliant footwork. Against Ranchi Rays in Mumbai’s most recent outing, he was a constant threat and even forced the Ranchi custodian, Tyler Lovell to use his superb anticipation in blocking the shot.
It was the Swedish international Johan Bjorkman who slammed in a stunning field goal in the eighth minute that eventually awarded the Alphas a 2-1 victory over the Wizards in the Lucknow leg. The 22-year-old would surely want to impress Mumbai’s home fans this time with his thunderous pace and attacking instincts.
Gonzalo Peillat has been the most prolific Argentine player for the last two years and has turned out to be the top scorer at every event that his country has participated in. At the 2016 HIL too, this 23-year-old has been nothing short of outstanding. The penalty corner specialist has seven goals against his name and is the fourth-highest scorer so far. He duly delivered against the Alphas with another penalty conversion and is the man the Mumbai franchise needs to be cautious of.
21-year-old Akashdeep Singh has displayed his incredible talent by slamming in two field goals for the Wizards in the fourth edition of the HIL. It was his clever deflection that helped break the deadlock when the Wizards and the Jaypee Punjab Warriors locked horns at Chandigarh. Needless to say, the young forward would look to inflict damage on the Alphas.
Dabang Mumbai: W – W – W – L – L
Uttar Pradesh Wizards: W – W – L – W – L
(Most recent on the right)