Match Preview: Ranchi Rhinos vs Delhi Waveriders - Match 22
Venue : Astroturf Hockey Stadium, Ranchi (Capacity – 5,000)
Date: 1st February, 2013
Time: 8:00 PM
Broadcaster: ESPN (English Commentary) and Star Cricket (Hindi Commentary)
The Rhinos take on Delhi Waveriders on their home turf just two days after earning a well deserved draw at Delhi. The Rhinos were largely dominant during the match against the Waveriders and will be hoping to better their result when they take on the table toppers on their home turf. Delhi, by virtue of their draw against Ranchi, have confirmed a semi-final berth for themselves and might be inclined to rest a few of their star players and give the younger ones a chance. Delhi and Ranchi are the top two teams in the group table at the moment, with Delhi being the only unbeaten team. Ranchi have been very strong at home this season, winning four out of the five matches they have played with the only defeat coming against Delhi in a nine-goal thriller. Delhi may give youngsters Lovdeep Singh, Surender kumar and Vikramjit Singh a much needed look into the team, with all three defenders yet to take part in any match.
Players to look out for :
Ranchi Rhinos: Birendra Lakra – The talented Indian midfielder was on fire the other day against Delhi and has earned some great compliments with his midfield play during the tournament with team-mate Austin Smith stating that he is going to be a great asset for India as well as Ranchi in the years to come. Lakra was in top form against Delhi and was creating all sorts of problems in the middle for the opposition. Delhi will be hoping that coach AK Bansal comes up with a plan to tame the attacking midfielder. German midfield maestro Moritz Fuerste and in-form striker Mandeep Singh are the other players Delhi will have to be wary of. Drag-flick specialist Ashley Jackson is also capable of springing in a surprise during the match.
Delhi Waveirders: Tim Jenniskens – The Dutchman has been the anchorman of the Delhi midfield along with Sardara Singh and once again gave a solid performance against Ranchi. The Dutchman is known for his excellent ball trapping abilities and has been very consistent for the Waveriders. Goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi has been one of the stand-out performers of the league and was instrumental in Delhi earning a point in the last game, but the German could be rested for this not-so-important fixture. Fellow German Oskar Deecke has not been in the best of forms and will be hoping to get back among goals, after featuring in a bit-part role for the Wave group owned franchise so far.
Form Guide : (Last five matches) –
Ranchi – LWWWD
Delhi – WWWWD
Ranchi – Gregg Clark (South Africa)
Delhi – AK Bansal (India)
Score Prediction : Very tough to predict, but I think Ranchi might finally become the team to beat the Waveriders, so going with a 3-2 scoreline in favour of the home-team.