Uttar Pradesh Wizards vs Dabang Mumbai: Preview, TV Channel Info, Squad, Form Guide, Key Players
On Saturday, Lucknow will witness an intriguing battle between two teams, each of whom managed to successfully come out of their lean phase in the recent past. Dabang Mumbai, especially, will be charged up as they finally got their first win of the 2016 Coal India Hockey India League after four consecutive defeats. Their brilliant attacking game and superb teamwork paid them rich dividends as they upended the defending champions and the current table leaders, Ranchi Rays 7-5 in their last assignment on Wednesday.
The hosts, Uttar Pradesh Wizards are currently placed fifth in the points table but, just like the Alphas, they too are coming into this match on a high. They have put up some spirited performances and grabbed a win in their last two matches against higher-placed opponents. Their 6-4 victory over the Waveriders and 3-0 stunner over the Jaypee Punjab Warriors should be enough to bolster their confidence when they square off against the Alphas.
The crowd support should be in favour of the Wizards on Saturday as the home team aims for a hat-trick of wins but the Alphas have the superb Florian Fuchs who can surely upset the home support.
Date and Time: 6th 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: Dhyan Chand Astroturf Stadium, Lucknow
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
German striker Florian Fuchs was the season’s second-most expensive player during the 2016 HIL auction where he was bought for $96,000. And Fuchs has lived up to his reputation, scoring goals regularly and mesmerizing everyone with his fabulous stickwork. With 8 goals (including 4 field goals) in 5 games, he is a danger for any of the rival teams.
Skipper Matthew Swann had to endure a tough time as the Alphas were ending up on the losing side despite playing impressively. The Mumbai side’s maiden win over the defending champions in their last match will definitely boost the Australian’s spirits as his team takes on the Wizards. Besides, he himself was able to add to Mumbai’s crucial tally during the second quarter of their showdown with the Ranchi Rays. There’s no doubt that Swann would be eagerly looking for his chances again.
The Wizards’ Technical Director Dhanraj Pillay had a lot of faith in the 21-year-old Akashdeep Singh when the UP franchise paid $84,000 for the young striker back in September. So far, he has delivered with two field goals at the 2016 HIL. He was instrumental in breaking the deadlock and overcoming the Warriors’ watertight defence when he scored for the Wizards in their most recent tie.
Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh has been one of the key reasons for the rejuvenated Indian team’s success of late. Even Holland coach Max Caldas lauded the talent and efforts of Sreejesh after India’s win over Holland in the bronze medal playoff at the World League Finals in December. The 27-year-old was the backbone of the Wizards’ clean sheet against the Warriors during their HIL encounter on Thursday.
Sreejesh would be hoping to use his anticipation and quick reflexes to prevent the Alphas from scoring.
Dabang Mumbai: L – L – L – L – W
Uttar Pradesh Wizards: L – L – L – W – W
(Most recent on the right)