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Men's Hockey World Cup 2018: Preview and Predictions

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Svk Sengupta
Modified 12 Sep 2018

The 14th edition of the Men's Hockey World Cup will be held in Bhubaneswar from 28th November 2018. In this article, we look at the details about the format and the participating nations.

Format of the Tournament:

There are 4 pools each consisting of 4 teams. After the group stage, the team which tops each pool will directly qualify for the quarterfinals, while the second and third teams qualify for the playoffs. The team which is at the last position gets eliminated.

Pool A:

1) Argentina (WR-2) 2) Spain (WR-8) 3) New Zealand(WR-9) 4) France (WR-20)

Analysis and Prediction:

Olympic champions Argentina are the favourites to top this group, although their recent performance in the Champions Trophy was below par (finishing fourth).

For the second and third positions in the pool, Spain and New Zealand look firm favourites.

France can cause an upset or two, but they will need to punch above their weight to qualify for the playoffs.

Argentinia v Australia -Champions Trophy

Pool B:

1) Australia (WR-1) 2) England (WR-7) 3) Ireland (WR-10) 4) China (WR-17)

Analysis and Prediction:

Defending champions Australia are the firm favourites to top this group, although the English team has the capability of beating the World Champions on its day.

England and Ireland are most likely to take the second and third positions in the pool.

However, the Chinese team can give the Irish team a run for their money.


Pool C:

1) Belgium (WR-3) 2) India (WR-5) 3) Canada (WR-11) 4) South Africa (WR-15)

Analysis and Prediction:

For the top spot in the pool, there will be a tough fight between the Olympic Games silver medallist Belgium and the hosts India, who are high on confidence after their Champions Trophy runners-up performance.

Canada are most likely to make the playoff from this group and South Africa will have to cause a huge upset or two to have any chance of progressing further.

Holland v India -Champions Trophy
Holland v India -Champions Trophy

Pool D (Group of Death)

1) Netherlands (WR-4) 2) Germany (WR-6) 3) Malaysia (WR-12) 4) Pakistan (WR-13)

Analysis and Prediction:

Of the 13 previous editions of the World Cup, 9 times the champion was a team from this group (Pakistan 4 times, Netherlands 3 times and Germany 2 times).

Alongside these three powerhouses of hockey, is a very strong Malaysian side who can defeat any team on their day.

So it is very difficult to predict the topper of this pool. However, based on recent form, either Netherlands or Germany are likely to do so.

Published 11 Sep 2018, 01:35 IST
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