Only 4 teams remain in contention for the coveted 2018 Hockey World Cup trophy.
After a dismal 2-2 draw against the 2nd lowest ranked team in the competition -- China -- in their first league game and the 0-3 loss to Australia in the second, the English players have only improved with each game.
Danny Kerry’s troops defeated Ireland 4-2 in the third league match and also went on to win their crossover encounter against the Black Sticks -- New Zealand -- 2-0.
A tough challenge awaited them as they met Los Leones -- Argentina -- who were also one of the favourites -- in the quarterfinals. However, they were up to the task and defeated the World Number 2 side 3-2 to set up the semifinal clash against Belgium.
Liam Ansell, David Condon, young Will Calnan, Mark Gleghorne, Barry Middleton, and Phil Roper will be some of the English players The Red Lions will need to keep a close eye on in the semifinal game. All these players are in terrific form and can punish them if not kept quiet.
Belgium's campaign has been a smooth one. After finishing 2nd in Pool C in the league stage courtesy two wins and a draw, Shane McLeod’s boys set up their crossover game against Pakistan.
They handed the Green Machines a 5-0 drubbing and entered the quarterfinals in emphatic fashion. Belgium upset the mighty Germans 2-1 in the quarterfinals to thread their way into the semifinals.
Luypaert, Cedric Charlier, Tom Boon, Thomas Briels, Simon Gougnard, and Alex Hendrickx have done outstandingly well for the Belgians. England will need to watch out for them and come out all guns blazing in the semifinal if they want to keep them quiet.
Here is all you need to know about the upcoming match between Belgium and England:
Event: Men's Hockey World Cup 2018
Venue: Bhubaneswar, India
Date: 15 December 2018
Time: 4:00 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
England and Belgium have clashed a total of 8 times since 2013. Out of these, 3 matches have been won by the Red Lions, while 3 have gone in favour of England, and 2 have ended in a stalemate.
Considering the form both the teams are in, one can expect a close match. England are dangerous up front but will find it difficult against a resolute Belgium side.
Score Prediction: Belgium 3 - 2 England