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Hockey India League: Holders Ranchi Rhinos face Uttar Pradesh Wizards in opener

Ranchi: Defending champions Ranchi Rhinos will kickstart their campaign against Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the second edition of the Hero Hockey India League here tomorrow.Both the teams would like to begin the tournament with a
India TV News Desk January 26, 2014 16:40 IST
India TV News Desk
Ranchi: Defending champions Ranchi Rhinos will kickstart their campaign against Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the second edition of the Hero Hockey India League here tomorrow.

Both the teams would like to begin the tournament with a win at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium here.

Rhinos Head Coach Gregg Clark said the Wizards are a formidable side and his boys, being the defending champions, would be under pressure.

"There will always be pressure on defending champions. (But) we will use that pressure to our advantage. Tomorrow's opponents are formidable, and we know they are also well prepared and it is a big game," Clark told reporters on the eve of the match.

Clark said his side has matured into a well-oiled unit and possess great energy.

"We got a good squad. Obviously we will use the winning team that we have from the last year. We have got great energy. The domestic players have improved and grown. It was a very young squad last year," he said, while adding that the team has some of the best international players who have the knowledge to tackle tough situations.

Manpreet Singh will be captaining the Rhinos side tomorrow.

The side boasts of several stars like Germany's Moritz Fuerste who will be vital to their dominance in midfield while Dutch forward Floris Evers would be expected to score goals.

On the other hand, Wizards, who finished third last season, also has experienced campaigners in the form of Dutch legend Teun De Nooije who will look to provide the spark in the frontline.