Mumbai face Punjab in exciting HIL tie 

Mumbai, Feb 11 (IANS) On a high after three consecutive wins, Dabang Mumbai will aim to extend their winning streak when they take on Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the Hockey India League (HIL) at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium here on Friday.

Mumbai started their campaign on a wrong note after losing four back-to-back matches but came back strongly thereafter winning all three to keep their semi-final hopes alive. The team is placed fifth with 19 points in the standings from seven games, having won three and lost four.

Whereas the visitors are also in good form and are fourth with 22 points, having won four and lost four from eight games.

Mumbai come into Friday’s match after hammering home side Delhi Waveriders 8-3 while Warriors lost their last match 1-4 to hosts Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

Warriors’ squad is a perfect mix of the most talented 12 Indian and seven Australian players with Mark Gleghorne being the sole Englishman in the squad.

It will see Jugraj Singh and Tristan Chemons guard the goal posts while Varun Kumar, Harbir Sandhu, Chris Ciriello and Mark Knowles will form the defence for the team.

Captain Sardar Singh, M.B. Aiyappa, Simon Orchard, Matt Gohdes and Mark Gleghorne will form the midfield while the forward line will see Satbir Singh, S.V. Sunil, Jasjit Kular, Gurwinder Chandi, Armaan Qureshi, Nithin Thimmaiah and Jacob Whetton.

The visitors will aim to make a strong comeback in the match after their last loss.

On the other hand, Mumbai who got their combination right in past couple of matches, will aim to keep things simple and hope their skipper Matthew Swann leads his troops from the front to register their fourth win of the season and move a step closer to the semis berth.

Australia international Swann, who has been dictating the flow of the game, will be the key once again on Friday.

Besides Swann, German star Florian Fuchs will be someone to watch out for, considering his pace and ability to score at crucial junctures of the game.

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