Preview: Great Britain vs Brazil

Middleton celebrates with Gleghorne

Great Britain head into their third match of the Olympic Games with a point to prove. After a defeat in their opening match against Belgium and a hard-earned point in their second fixture against New Zealand, Bobby Crutchley’s side are not where they wanted to be, but encouraged by passages of play in their last match, they are starting to head the right way.

Tonight’s clash is against the hosts, Brazil, so far with two defeats from two in their first ever Olympics. Plenty of talk has centred on Great Britain putting their opponents to the sword, but David Condon, one of the scorers against New Zealand is insistent they are focusing on themselves:

“For the next match we need to focus on that last bit of detail. It’s all very well doing the hard work, but if the quality isn’t there then the hard work means nothing. We want to focus on making the passes in the right place so the next person can make the right play.”

With many around them starting to hit the panic button, Bobby Crutchley, the Head Coach remains calm and trusts in his players’ ability to come good at the right time:

“The New Zealand game was nearer to what we want, but it wasn’t where we need to be. The players are pretty good at evaluating their own performances, so they’ll know what they need to do in the next couple of games and they’ll be doing their utmost to produce what they need to do.” said the Coach in the aftermath of the second game.

With Spain seeing off New Zealand earlier on today and with Belgium and Australia facing off too, the pool is starting to take shape and despite not producing the results they are capable of, Great Britain are still very much in the mix for a quarter final berth. A win tonight sets them up nicely for their final two games against an in-from Spain and the old enemy of Australia. It is promising to be an enthralling few games as GB bid to make their way towards the medal matches.

What of their opponents tonight, Brazil? The hosts are competing in their first Olympics and their squad includes two players who were named in the 2015 Pan American Elite teams, with striker Matheus Borges and defender Stephane Vehrle-Smith being rewarded with deserved recognition of their respective talents. The latter of those two will be well known to the GB boys, playing as he does at Holcombe with a number of Bobby Crutchley’s group. Borges is rated by many as the most talented of Brazil’s rapidly developing side; this 23-year-old forward is a regular scorer for the national side and will be looking to make his mark in front of his home supporters.

So, the stage is set: Resurgent Great Britain vs. the home nation heroes. It’s time to get down to business.

Great Britain's men take on Brazil at 10pm on tonight, and the game is live on BBC Four. The match will also be shown live online, and the link will be posted here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/rio-2016/schedule

If you have the BBC Sport app, you can also tune in through that.

Our women's next game is at 5:30pm on Wednesday night and will be live on BBC Four.

For further insight and analysis, follow our Twitter feed @_GBHockey.