Australian coach Colin Batch was emphatic right from the outset that the Odisha World Cup would be the most open edition of the competition ever.
Batch's boys remained unbeaten in the pool stages but were not quite as dominant as the great Australian teams of the past - and now find themselves having to battle it out for bronze, instead of a third successive gold which they were fervently aiming for.
The Aussies will be up against old foes England who kept the world champions on their toes for three-quarters of their pool encounter last week, before conceding three goals in a packed final quarter.
Whether or not the English will be able to recover physically and mentally from the 0-6 drubbing that they suffered at the hands of Olympic champions Belgium in their semifinal encounter remains to be seen, but Danny Kerry will be sure to pep his side up to end the competition on a high.
The wounded defending champions will, however, look to make amends for missing out on the coveted trophy and make an assertive statement to the hockey world before heading home.
The Kookaburras came back from two goals down to score a dramatic last-minute equalizer against arch-rivals Holland, only to go down in a tense shootout - but will begin as the overwhelming favorites on Sunday.
Here is all you need to know about how the stats stack up between the two sides:
Head-to-head since 2013:
Total Matches: 10 (Australia 7, England 2, Draw 1)
Head-to-Head in World Cups:
Total matches: 11 (Australia 9, England 2)
Previous World Cup History:
Australia: (Gold 3, Silver 2, Bronze 4)
England: (Gold 0, Silver 1, Bronze 0)
Players to watch out for:
England: (Barry Middleton, Liam Ansell, Mark Gleghorne, David Condon)
Australia: (Blake Govers, Eddie Ockenden, Aran Zalewski, Trent Mitton)
Here is how you catch all the action:
Event: Men's Hockey World Cup 2018
Venue: Bhubaneswar, India
Date: 16 December 2018
Time: 4:30 pm Indian Standard Time (IST)
India: Star Sports, Star Sports HD
UK: BT Sport
Australia: Fox Sports
New Zealand: Sky Sports (NZ)
South Africa: SuperSport
Live Streaming: Hotstar, FIH Official Youtube Channel
Live Updates: Sportskeeda
The Aussies beat the English 4-1 in a pool match of the Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year and followed it up with a 2-1 win in the finals at Ipoh. At Gold Coast too, the Aussies overcame England 2-1 in the semifinal of the Commonwealth Games 2018 and will look to improve upon their 3-0 win at Bhubaneswar last week.
Score Prediction: Australia 4 - 0 England
Published 16 Dec 2018, 00:06 IST