FIH Pro League Preview: The Netherlands v GB

FIH Pro League Preview: The Netherlands v GB
Fresh off the back of facing Belgium in a double header series on Thursday afternoon, there’s no respite for Great Britain’s men and women who go on to face the Netherlands away from home this weekend.

GB’s women will meet the world number one ranked side in Eindhoven at 5pm on Saturday 1 June before the men’s teams come head to head at 3pm on Sunday in the FIH Pro League with both games to be shown live on BT Sport.

There could be milestone matches this weekend for Sarah Evans, who is in line to make her 100th international appearance, whilst Michael Hoare could play his 150th international game on Sunday.

Ahead of the two games, we took a closer look at the European powerhouses:


Dutch women looking to maintain their phenomenal record
The Netherlands’ women’s team are well known for their skill and world class quality. Their 1-0 away defeat to Australia in the FIH Pro League was their first loss since falling to Great Britain in a shootout at the Rio 2016 Olympic final following a 3-3 regular time draw.

Other than that one defeat, the Dutch have looked as unstoppable and strong as ever, recording seven wins from eight matches in the FIH Pro League.

Currently sitting top of the league, the Dutch have given debuts to six young players in the FIH Pro League as they look to develop their squad whilst continuing their reign of dominance.

The Netherlands go into Saturday’s game with momentum well in their favour with six consecutive victories, their most recent a 1-0 win away to Germany with their top scorer in the league, Frederique Matla, scoring inside the first five minutes of the game.

The team has a remarkable record so far in the league with 24 goals scored and only 4 conceded, meaning they lead the way with the average goals scored per game (3) and fewest goals conceded per game (0.5).

Home form has been a real point of difference for the Dutch side who have an incredible record of 13 goals scored and just one conceded from only two games after they cruised past China (6-0) and the USA (7-1) in April.

Including Saturday’s clash, the Dutch have six home games remaining having largely been on the road for the first-half of the league, with a trip to Belgium and Great Britain their last remaining away trips.


Netherlands men targeting top four finish
Despite currently sitting third in the FIH Pro League table, it’s been a slightly inconsistent start to the competition for the men’s team who have three wins, two draws and two losses from their opening seven games.

Starting off with a hard-fought 4-3 victory over New Zealand, the Dutch then draw against Australia (5-5) and Spain (3-3) winning the resulting shootout against the Kookaburras but failing to find a way past the European side.

Unlucky to lose against Argentina (4-3) having conceded two goals in the final ten minutes, the Dutch were then defeated 1-0 by Germany in their first home game of the FIH Pro League.

Since then, there’s been something of a resurgence with back to back victories against Spain (4-0) and Germany (4-2). However, the Dutch haven’t had a game since that match in Moenchengladbach in April and will be hoping to get up to speed quickly against Great Britain on Sunday.

Though they do currently sit inside the top four it’s precariously balanced for the team who have both Argentina and Great Britain hot on their heels in the race to secure an Olympic qualifier match.

Having played four games fewer than Argentina, who have already played 11, the Dutch will need to maintain their winning record to preserve their advantageous position.

There's less than one month to go until Great Britain make history and play at Harlequins' Twickenham Stoop Stadium in a double header match against New Zealand on June 23, be part of the big event and secure your tickets by clicking HERE