Hockey World Cup 2018, Australia vs England: Preview, prediction, telecast, date, start time and where to watch online
Australia are the heavyweights in the group, considering they are the World No. 1 team. The George Pinner-led England, meanwhile, are the second highest ranked team in the group, placed at No. 7.
The Kookaburras will be going up against England after overcoming the challenge of Ireland in their first match.
Australia are the defending champions of the previous two editions of the Hockey World Cup (New Delhi in 2010 and The Hague in 2014). They also defeated hosts India in the final of the 2018 Champions trophy in Breda to win the gold medal.
The Colin Batch-coached team also bagged first place at both the 2018 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
However, contrary to expectations, the start for the champion side was not entirely convincing as they won 2-1 against an Irish side which are ranked 10th as per FIH.
They would not have been happy at squandering five penalty corner opportunities. The Aussies had 16 shots on target but will be highly disappointed to have got only two goals in their first match. Two out of 16 is nowhere close to what the conversion rate of a World Champion side should be.
Captain Eddie Ockenden, along with Blake Govers - who scored Australia's first goal against Ireland via a PC, Timothy Brand and Corey Weyer were a few of the standout players from Australia's first match.
Meanwhile, England's best finish at the World Cup was way back in 1986, when they ended as runners-up. They went on to finish 4th both in the 2010 and 2014 editions of the coveted event.
Coach Danny Kerry and his troops have not had the best of starts to the World Cup in Bhubaneshwar either as they drew 2-2 with World No. 17 China. Mark Gleghorne and Liam Ansell got the goals for the English team in their match against the spirited Chinese team.
The stats were all in favor of England but - just like Australia - the finishing was not up to the mark. Du Talake scored a late equalizer for China through a penalty corner in the 58th minute, and ultimately the English side had to settle for one point.
Kerry would be highly disappointed that his side only managed a draw against World Cup debutantes China. However, he has more to worry as his side now get ready to square off against World Champions Australia.
The last match Australia and England played in India was in Bhubaneshwar itself - the Hockey World League Final - which the Aussies won 4-1.
Here is all you need to know about the upcoming match between Australia and England:
Event: Men's Hockey World Cup 2018
Venue: Bhubaneswar, India
Date: 4 December 2018
Time: 5:00 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
A win in this match will put the defending champions in pole position in Pool B, and would secure their place in the knockout stages. Even though Australia faced a stiff challenge from Ireland in their first game - a match many thought would be a cakewalk for the World Champions - they can be expected to bounce back in the match against England.
The previous two meetings between the two sides have ended in favour of the Kookaburras. The Aussies should emerge on top this time around as well; the odds are in favour of the World Champions, but it is sure to be a hard-fought win.
Score Prediction: Australia 3 - 2 England
Follow Sportskeeda for all the latest Hockey World Cup Points table, schedule, stats & previews.