HIL: Uttar Pradesh to take on Delhi
Having won both their games, the Waveriders would be high on confidence and so would be the Wizards.
Lucknow: Delhi Waveriders and Uttar Pradesh Wizards, the two unbeaten sides in the Hockey India League (HIL), face each other in an highly anticipated clash here at Guru Gobind Singh Sports College on Saturday. Having won both their games, the Waveriders would be high on confidence. And so would be the Wizards, after beating Jaypee Punjab Warriors in their opener on Thursday.
In addition, Wizards would be playing their first home game of the tournament. Scoring three wins in a row can be a big step forward towards making it to the summit clash, and Waveriders would do everything possible to achieve that. Wizards' Spanish midfielder David Alegre and Jeroen Hertzberger combined brilliantly to score their opener against the Warriors, and the Waveriders would do well to keep an eye on the duo, as well as Raghunath, Wizards' skipper.
Towards the end of the game, Warriors really came very hard at the Wizards, but their defence held on well. That is something that would have impressed coach Roelant Oltmans, who has also been appointed as the Indian hockey's Director (High Performance). Waveriders have had a two-day rest and would be raring to keep their top spot in the standings. Drag flicker Rupinder Pal Singh finding form in their previous game, against Mumbai Magicians, would have made the team management quite happy.
Rupinder, after having missed a few opportunities against Warriors in the tournament opener, scored via a penalty corner against the Magicians. Waveriders would expect a similar or even better performance from their star drag flicker. Speaking about the game Delhi Waveriders coach Ajay Kumar Bansal said: "The boys have put up a great show up till now in the first two matches. A good attacking and defensive approach has taken us to the top of the table and we plan to continue in the way."
"The team is very confident since we have performed consistently and won two matches. Our aggressive strategy seems to be working for us and we plan to play in similar fashion," Delhi skipper Sardar Singh said.