FIH Pro League Preview: GB v Germany

GB men v GER A
The FIH Pro League returns to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre this week as we come into the business end of the league.

Great Britain welcome Germany to London with the men’s teams set to meet on Thursday 6 June and the women’s match scheduled for Friday 7 June, both games will commence at 7:30pm with tickets available HERE.

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

Thursday - GB men v Germany - 7:30pm

GB men looking to solidify place in top four
Great Britain’s men’s side sit third in the FIH Pro League table, but with the Netherlands and Argentina hot on their heels, and Germany not too far behind either, it’s crucial the team keeps racking up the wins in their final four matches to maintain their position.

Last time out, Great Britain put in an impressive display to topple the Dutch on their own patch, coming out 3-1 victors thanks to goals from Will Calnan, Sam Ward and Chris Griffiths. The result saw the team switch places with the Netherlands as GB leapt from fifth to third.


Going into Thursday’s match, Great Britain will be well aware of the qualities Germany possess having only just surpassed them the last time the sides met in the league. GB left Moenchengladbach with a closely fought 1-0 victory as Phil Roper bagged a stunning winner and some heroic defending in the final minutes of the game sealed victory for the visitors.

Great Britain have been an entertaining side to watch in the FIH Pro League, Roper and Sam Ward are tied as the second-top scorers in the league with 7, one behind Spain’s Pau Quemada. 

The team has shown their attacking intent through the league and have made more circle entries (220) than any other side. Further strength has been shown from set pieces, no team has scored more than GB’s ten goals from penalty corners with Australia, the team with the second-most, only recording eight.

Danny Kerry has made one change from the side that defeated the Dutch with Ollie Willars replacing Luke Taylor. Thursday could also bring a huge milestone appearance for Great Britain captain Adam Dixon who is in line to win his 250th international cap.

GB men v GER A

Germany men out to catch top four 
Thursday’s game could prove pivotal in Germany’s quest to work their way into the top four, victory would see them sit one point behind Great Britain with a game in hand, whilst defeat would see them two points behind the Dutch in fourth having played one game more.

No team has scored fewer than Germany’s 19 goals in the league, though they have played one less game than New Zealand who have the second least on 21. 

Though not the most free-scoring team, Germany have a reputation for being one of the toughest teams to break down with the side demonstrating excellent defensive strength.

Germany have continued to pick up points in the league despite failing to pick up a win in their last five games, their last victory coming over two months ago against the Netherlands on March 5.

Last time out, Germany put in a strong showing to tie 4-4 with reigning World Champions Belgium, a game they had led by two goals, and then claim the two points with a 4-3 shootout victory away from home.

Though the German’s are making a push to finish in the top four, they have only secured two wins from nine matches after racking up four draws (two of which were won in the shootout) and three losses so far.

 

Friday - GB women v Germany - 7:30pm

GB women seeking redemption against Germany as Hinch returns to squad
Having lost 2-0 to Germany last time the teams met in the FIH Pro League, Great Britain will be looking for revenge when the action arrives at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Friday evening. 

Despite falling to a 2-0 away defeat to the Netherlands last time out, GB put in an encouraging display against the reigning World Champions and will go into Friday’s match hopeful of a positive result.

Last time Great Britain ran out at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, they secured a valuable 2-0 victory over Belgium thanks to a Grace Balsdon rocket and Lily Owsley wonder-goal.


With four games remaining for the team in the FIH Pro League, Great Britain will be keen to replicate that performance and pick up as many points as possible in their remaining games.

FIH Goalkeeper of the Year, Maddie Hinch could make her first international appearance of 2019 on Friday night after being named in an FIH Pro League squad for the first time.

Having named a squad of 20 for Friday’s game against Germany and Sunday’s match against Australia, there are several changes to the team that faced the Dutch last time out. Hinch, Amy Tennant, Susannah Townsend and Esme Burge, who could make her senior international debut, come into the squad in place of Erica Sanders, Nicki Cochrane and Sabbie Heesh.

GB women v GER A

Demanding finish for Germany’s women 
It’s a gruelling end to the FIH Pro League for Germany who have seven games to play in just 20 days, four of which are away matches.

Their run of games started on June 2 with a 4-0 victory over Belgium before falling to a very narrow 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands just two days later, Friday’s match against GB is set to be their third game in under a week.

The German’s find themselves just shy of the top four, currently sat fifth with one point less than Belgium despite having played an additional game. Needing Belgium to slip to have a chance of finishing in the top four, Germany have five games left to play and will need to win as many as possible to apply pressure in the race for the top four.

Only Argentina (11) have scored more than Germany’s ten goals from penalty corners, though the South American side have played four more matches than the Germans. However, discipline has been an issue for the team who have recorded a league high of 18 green cards, considerably above all the other countries’ tally.

Don’t miss out and watch Great Britain back in home action this week with tickets for both matches available HERE

There’s just over a fortnight to go until we make history and face New Zealand in a double header at Harlequins’ Twickenham Stoop Stadium on June 23. Tickets are on sale now, starting at £11 for Under 18s and £34 for adults to see both the men’s and women’s teams in action – BUY HERE