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India vs Great Britain men's hockey quarter-final at Olympics 2021: Preview, prediction, when and where to watch 

History beckons for the Indian men on Sunday Image Ctsy: Hockey India
History beckons for the Indian men on Sunday Image Ctsy: Hockey India
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The Indian men's hockey team will face Great Britain in the quarterfinals of the Olympics 2021.

The Indians, who were already assured of a place in the knock-outs, beat Japan 5-3 in their last encounter in Group A while Great Britain held World Champions Belgium to a 2-2 draw in their final Group B clash.

Three-time gold medallist Great Britain, who have been described as the dark horses of Olympics 2021, have won three of their five group matches in Tokyo.

Adam Dixon and co. began their campaign well by getting past South Africa and Canada before suffering a 1-5 defeat against Germany.

A draw against the Dutch steadied the ship for GB and splitting points with the Belgians would have boosted their confidence - although the Red Lions were guaranteed a first-place finish in the group irrespective of the result.

Great Britain, who were the losing semifinalists against Australia in London 2012, failed to make it past the group stage in Rio 2016.

Competing as England in the 2018 Odisha World Cup, Danny Kerry's team began badly after they were held to a 2-2 draw by China but went on to finish fourth in the competition.

More recently, the team ended up sixth in the 2020 Hockey Pro League season, winning four of their 12 matches outright while their game against the Indians had to be canceled owing to the pandemic.

The dark horses of Tokyo 2020 - Great Britain
The dark horses of Tokyo 2020 - Great Britain

The Indians went down to England in the bronze-medal match of the 2018 Commonwealth Games after having won the group encounter.

Memories of the loss in Gold Coast continue to linger owing to the coach swap that followed after the team returned emply-handed.

Great Britain have some prolific scorers in Sam Ward and Liam Ansell - both of whom have made their mark by scoring four goals each in Tokyo - while Phil Roper and Alan Forsyth can prove to be a defender's nightmare when they get going.

A seasoned defensive line-up led by captain Adam Dixon provides ample shielding for the young and rather inexperienced goalkeeper, Ollie Payne.

The Indians will have to prove their detractors wrong by not losing their cool in the vital knock-out game on Sunday.

Roelant Oltmans' team were the ones who made it to the knock-out of an Olympic competition for the first time in 36 years, but no Indian side has made it to the semifinals since Moscow 1980.

Can Manpreet Singh and co. create history on Sunday?

Prediction:

The Indians have proved they are capable of beating the best on their day, which was evident during their 2020 Hockey Pro League campaign.

While an Olympic quarterfinal is a different ball game altogether, Graham Reid's team will back themselves against GB, although the contest could be too close to call.

Penalty corners will be vital for both sides and Rupinder Pal Singh, who was rested for the Japan game, will need to be at his best.


FIH Rankings:

India - 3

Great Britain (England) - 5

Score Prediction:

India 2 - Great Britain 1


The match will be streamed live on Sony LIV and across the Sony Sports Network and on Doordarshan in India, on Sunday, August 1.


Edited by SANJAY K K

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