Hockey World Cup 2018: Spain vs France - Preview, Prediction, Telecast, Date, Start time and Where to Watch online
The initial 5 days of the 2018 Hockey World Cup have been no less than a roller coaster ride. There have been some intense matches and really close results. Pool A teams will be returning to action on Day 6 of the coveted event. Earlier, Argentina had defeated Spain 4-3 while New Zealand had defeated the French 2-1.
There was a surprise element in the Pool A matches as Argentina and New Zealand, being much higher ranked than their opponents, were expected to come out with easy wins. However, both Spain and France fought well in their respective first match even though they ended on the losing side.
Now, Spain will be squaring off against France. The former are currently ranked 8th in the world while the latter are at number 20. The Spanish team displayed phenomenal stick play against 2nd ranked Argentina and almost managed to snatch a point from the game. It seems like Fred Soyez and his troops are close to getting the kind of form their national team had when they won a silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Enrique González was a constant threat on the right flank in the previous match and is expected to play a pivotal role in the upcoming match against France as well. They also worked out a penalty corner sequence brilliantly against Argentina in which Romeu scored. Vicenc Ruiz scored the 3rd goal in Spain's 3-4 loss in the previous match. The Red Lions looked extremely dangerous and had the mighty Argentinians on the back foot during multiple stages in the match. They were rotating the ball well and had a great understanding amongst each other.
In fact, a rather surprising statistic of the match was that Spain had 18 circle entries compared to Argentina's 12 and 6 shots on target compared to Argentina's 5. The Spaniards witnessed heartbreak in their previous match and will be hungry to get a win as they go up against France.
On the other hand, France were also impressive against the dangerous Black Sticks in their first match.
Drag-flicker Victor Charlet will be the man to watch out for in Les Blues. Two exceptional saves by the Black Sticks' custodian denied him twice from Penalty Corners but he finally found the back of the net in the 58th minute of the match. However, it was too little too late. Les Blues, as the French team is nicknamed, will be aiming to get their first points on board as they go up against Spain.
Jeroen Delmee's French side really entertained the audience present at Bhubaneshwar and refused to go down without a fight against New Zealand. They had 8 shots on goal in their previous match which is a motivating statistic for the side.
Here is all you need to know about the upcoming match between Spain and France:
Event: Men's Hockey World Cup 2018
Venue: Bhubaneswar, India
Date: 3 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
As things stand, Spain are currently on the 3rd spot in Pool A while the French team are at the bottom 4th place. A win for any of the teams will give them a better chance to stay in contention for the crossover matches as Argentina are expected to qualify straight to the quarters from this pool.
There are plenty of positives both the teams can take away from their initial matches and they would consider themselves unlucky to lose. This would spur them ever more and make them hungrier to win this upcoming match. The Spanish team can be expected to take the three points against France. A high-scoring match is also on the cards.
Score Prediction: Spain 4 - 2 France
Follow Sportskeeda for all the latest Hockey World Cup Points table, schedule, stats & previews.