Lucknow: Star-studded Uttar Pradesh Wizards will look to break the winless streak and register their first victory when they take on Kalinga Lancers in the Hero Hockey India League (HIL) here tomorrow.
Post their draw against Delhi Waveriders and a defeat to Jaypee Punjab Warriors, the V R Raghunath-led UP Wizards will be expected to run the extra mile.
Currently placed at the bottom of the table with three points, UP Wizards need to clinch five match points to gain a better position in the league. The line-up includes goalkeeper P R Sreejesh, Australian midfielder Eddie Ockenden, Spanish midfielder David Alegre, Dutch forward Jeroen Hertzberger with Roelant Oltmans as the head coach.
The Lucknow-based team will continue with their previous game-plan of earning maximum penalty corners and convert the opportunities in goals with the help of experienced penalty corner specialist Raghunath.
However, Kalinga Lancers can't be taken lightly as they have a talented set of players with an ability to dominate. Coached by Jude Felix, the Lancers have young Vikram Kanth as captain, Argentinean penalty corner specialist Gonzalo Peillat, Australian forward Russell Ford, New Zealand midfielder Ryan Archibald along with an array of Indian talents such as Gurjinder Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Roshan Minz.
Lancers will stick to their strategy of surprise attacks and capitalising on the opponents' mistakes. Considered the dark horse of the tournament, the Lancers have enough confidence to stun Uttar Pradesh Wizards and clinch full points.
Speaking after the practice session, Oltmans said, "We hope to continue the good form. It will be a different game altogether. So far, in this season, we had 1 draw and we lost 1 game and in this game, we are looking forward to register our first win of this season."
Felix said, "We have had a good start in the Hero HIL 2015, having a good run till now. We know all the teams are tough and strength wise all are more or less equals. We understand this thing, so we are not taking much pressure for the upcoming challenges from the teams."