New Delhi: Still to register a win in the tournament so far, defending champions Delhi Waveriders will be desperate to turn the tables around on their home turf when they play table toppers Jaypee Punjab Warriors in a league match of the Hero Hockey India League (HIL) here tomorrow.
The Waveriders have so far managed two draws out of the two games they have played and are languishing in the second last spot in the six-team franchise-based event.
Punjab Warriors, on the other hand, are flying high with two wins and one draw out of their three games.
And come tomorrow, the Waveriders will be playing hard for a win to silence their critics in front of their home crowd at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.
But it won't be a cakewalk for the Waveriders as in Punjab Warriors they face a side which produced solid and consistent performance so far in the third edition of the HIL.
The Waveriders surely would be bolstered by the fact that they had defeated Punjab Warriors in the final of the HIL last year to lift the title, and the Sardar Singh-led side would be eyeing yet another victory to prove their dominance over their rivals.
Punjab Warriors would be looking to avenge their costly defeat of last year. With a formidable line up to choose from, the Jamie Dwyer-led visitors would also be eyeing to extend their unbeaten run in the league and consolidate their position at the top of the points table.
While the Waveriders drew against Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Ranchi Rays in their last games, the Punjab Warriors defeated Kalinga Lancers and the Wizards.
The Punjab Warriors are sitting pretty at the top with 12 points, while the Waveriders so far have managed just four points from two draws.
Having analysed the mistakes they committed in the last
two matches, Waveriders coach Cedric D'Souza minced no words when he said that they would be playing for a win tomorrow.
"We have analysed ourselves in terms of how we have played in the past matches. We are also continuously working on rectifying our mistakes and ensure that we do not repeat them in future," he said on the eve of the match.
"The third season of HIL will be very strong in terms of balance of the teams. Every team has prepared themselves well and gauged thoroughly so as to lift the trophy. I hope we retain the title this year," he said.
Punjab Warriors coach Barry Dancer hoped his wards would carry on their winning streak tomorrow.
"Our performance in the last two matches were great and we aim to maintain our winning streak. Our team co-ordination has been excellent and has helped us to deliver favourable results. The aim has always been to reach the semi-finals and then see how to take it further from there," the Australian said.
Punjab Warriors skipper Dwyer said the team was brimming with confidence after the great start to the season.
"We are very happy and confident after recording back-to-back wins this season. This has boosted our self-belief and has made us more determined to give our best performance in the upcoming match," he said.
"We aim to give a challenging fight to Delhi Waveriders tomorrow."