FIH Pro League Preview: Great Britain v Spain

Preview: Great Britain v Spain
Great Britain’s men visit Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre for the first time in the FIH Pro League when Spain come to London on Saturday 4 May, pushback 12pm – tickets are available HERE.

The last time these sides met, a contender for match of the competition was played out as Great Britain came from 4-1 down to triumph 6-5 in Valencia in what was a goal-fest filled with breath-taking hockey.

With anticipation and excitement building around GB’s first men’s home match, we’ve previewed the teams ahead of what promises to be an entertaining fixture, especially if the last encounter is anything to go by:

Great Britain’s men hoping for perfect start at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre

Having begun their FIH Pro League campaign with five away matches, Saturday’s match will provide a first opportunity for Great Britain’s men to get a runout in-front of a home crowd at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

Despite travelling the world in the opening months of the FIH Pro League, Great Britain have strung together a series of strong performances, returning to London with four wins from five matches.

Great Britain’s most recent match saw the side claim a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Germany in Moenchengladbach, with both sides defending fiercely through the game. 

GB men v Spain

Though Great Britain currently sit top on win percentage after collecting 12 points from five games, they would have to win all of their next three matches to remain above an impressive Australian side that have 19 points from eight games. With a tough run of fixtures coming up, including two matches against 2018 World Cup winners and number one world ranked side Belgium within their next four matches, maintaining this current form will be no easy feat.

Three changes have been made from the team that defeated Germany last time out with Will Calnan, James Gall and Luke Taylor coming in for Liam Ansell, Michael Hoare and Henry Weir.

After heroically making a last minute save both in Great Britain’s last match and in the reverse fixture against Spain, ‘keeper George Pinner is in line to make his 50th GB cap should he feature in Saturday’s game.

Spain looking to turn draws into wins

It’s been tough going for Spain in the FIH Pro League, though they have notably managed to hold the Netherlands and Belgium to a draw, the Spanish side are yet to record a victory in the competition.

No team has drawn as many games as Spain (4) with the side having developed something of a reputation as an unbeatable team when it comes to shootouts after claiming the bonus point in every one of their tied matches.

With nine matches played (the joint most with New Zealand), Spain currently sit seventh in the table with eight points and victory over Great Britain would see them move above Germany in the FIH Pro League table.

Spain have been one of the most entertaining sides to watch in the competition so far, their tally of 23 goals for and 34 against means their matches average just over six goals a game. 

Spain will be looking to improve on their current away record which has seen them only pick up a draw against New Zealand having been beaten by Australia, Argentina, Belgium and the Netherlands.

A noteworthy threat Great Britain will need to be wary of is striker Pau Quemada, who leads the way in the top scorers list with seven goals from seven games.

Don’t miss Great Britain’s men’s first FIH Pro League home match and secure your tickets for Saturday’s Spain game at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre by clicking HERE.