Chandigarh:Home challengers Chandigarh Dynamos will take on Bangalore Hi-Fliers in a battle of equals as the two sides lock horns in the first of the best-of-three finals of the Premier Hockey League IV in Chandigarh on Monday.
The two teams did not play up to their potential in the semifinals yesterday and had the slice of luck to move into the finals through penalty shoot-outs.
But as the ultimate battle knocking on the doors, they must give their best shot to annex the title at the Sector 42 Stadium.
In the semifinals, Dynamos survived a scare to win narrowly as the youngster-packed Hyderabad Sultans erected a solid wall of defence to make life difficult for the star-studded Chandigarh forward line.
The Hi-Fliers came back from a precarious two-goal deficit against Orissa Steelers to stretch the match to the tie-breakers and book a berth in the finals.
Strength-wise both the sides are evenly-poised with a host of Indian stars in their ranks.
While the likes of Prabhjot Singh, Rajpal Singh, Deepak Thakur and Inderjit Singh Chaddha form the forward line of the Dynamos, an equally capable strike force of Tushar Khandekar, Arjun Halappa, Sandeep Michael and Korean import You Hyo-sik complete a formidable attack for the Hi-Fliers.
In the specialised role of a drag-flicker, both sides again run neck-and-neck with Sandeep Singh and Len Aiyappa proving to be trump cards for Dynamos and Hi-Fliers respectively.
The goal-keepers are likely to come under a lot of pressure and the both custodians Baljit Singh of the Chandigarh team and Bharat Chetri of Bangalore -- are talented enough to thwart a lot of attempts on their own.
Predicting an entertaining contest, Bangalore Hi-Fliers' coach Ashish Balal said the competition level will rise since the two sides would go all out for the title.
"So far the level of competition has not been the kind, one expected from such a tournament. The players are attending camps and preparing for the Olympic qualifiers.
"This is the final and now the show-time is on. There would be pressure. But it would be exciting and the key would be to get the momentum," he said at a press conference in Chandigarh on Sunday.