The 4th quarterfinal of the 2018 Hockey World Cup will be contested between the hosts India and Netherlands.
The Men in Blue have the terrific home support of fans at the Kalinga Stadium with the stadium filled up to the brim whenever they are playing. However, a team like the Netherlands will be no easy opponent and it is sure to be a close-knit encounter.
Harendra Singh's boys made it straight to the quarterfinals after topping Group C. After brushing aside South Africa 5-0 in the first league match, India managed a 2-2 draw against Belgium in the second and ended the group stages with an emphatic 5-1 victory against Canada.
Simranjeet Singh, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, drag flick specialist Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, and Mandeep Singh will be the Indian players to watch out for in the quarterfinal match.
The Netherlands finished 2nd in Pool D and had to play their crossover match against Canada. The match was convincingly won 5-0 by Maximiliano Caldas' troops.
The Dutch have really shown a lot of character and bounced back well after the 1-4 defeat to Germany in the 2nd league game. However, their A game is still not seen in the competition and it is likely that they will bring it out against India.
One area of concern for the Dutch has been their Penalty Corner conversion. Although they have scored plenty of field goals, the Billy Bakker-led unit must make the most of the Penalty Corners as they can alter the result in a game.
Mirco Pruijser, Mink van der Weerden, Valentin Verga, Thijs Van Dam, Robbert Kemperman, Jeroen Hertzberger, and Thierry Brinkman are the Dutch players the Men in Blue will need to wary of as they are all in good form.
A lot is at stake and the winner of the quarterfinal match against India and Netherlands will be locking horns with Australia in the semifinal game.
Here is all you need to know about the upcoming match between India and the Netherlands:
Event: Men's Hockey World Cup 2018
Venue: Bhubaneswar, India
Date: 13 December 2018
Time: 7:00 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
Out of the 9 times India and Netherlands have clashed since 2013, the Men in Blue have gone on to win 4, 4 matches were won by the Dutch, and 1 ended in a draw.
Meanwhile, India are currently ranked 5th in the World as per FIH while the Netherlands are 4th. It could not have been any closer.
However, the home advantage should give Harendra Singh's boys that extra motivation as well as the confidence to go ahead and win the quarterfinal match.
Score Prediction: India 2 - 1 Netherlands