The hockey World Cup is less than a year away and there are many nations in the hunt for the trophy. With this being the top competition alongside the Olympics for many hockey players it is taken with the utmost importance. The World Cup offers players a chance of true sporting greatness just like the World Series, Superbowl or Cheltenham Betting Offers athletes the chance of proving themselves.
So who are the most likely winners of the World Cup when India host the world in 2023?
The current world and Olympic champions will come into the tournament brimming with confidence and will be hoping to retain the title after winning their first one in 2018. Having dropped to the 2nd rank team in the world they will be wanting to retain their spot as the best at this tournament.
With players such as Captain Félix Denayer in midfield and an experienced front line of Florent Van Aubel, Sébastien Dockier, Cédric Charlier and the prolific Tom Boon, Belgium head into the tournament with a strong lineup with players in the prime of their career.
Currently ranked 1st in the world after overtaking Belgium, Australia will be once again near the top of the charts in terms of winning the tournament. The Australians finished 2nd in the Olympics after losing to Belgium but have regrouped to take that top spot.
Australia are always strong favourites heading into any tournament and have never finished outside the top four since 1975. In that time they have won the tournament three times with the last win coming in 2014. With goalkeeper Andrew Charter and Co-captain Eddie Ockenden both playing in that World Cup winning side and still in the current squad, they will be hoping to use their experience by picking up another winner's medal.
After falling short at the Olympics in Tokyo last year, the Indian side will have the bit between their teeth. The Indian side have won the World Cup just once in 1975 and have only broke out of the group stage once; last time out in 2018. However, they have enjoyed major success in the Asian competitions in recent times and will be hoping that a home tournament again can help them.
With games against Germany coming up this month it will be a real chance for the likes of Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar and arguably the best goalkeeper in the world PR Sreejesh to prove they have what it takes to help India win the tournament. After a mixed back to back performance against Spain, Coach Graham Reid will hope they can play better to prove why they are number three in the world.
They are currently 4th in the world but they did finish 2nd at the last two World Cups. Netherlands have been a very good, consistent nation in recent times picking up the EuroHockey championships in 2021 and finishing 6th in the Olympics after being knocked out by Australia on penalties.
The Dutch, like in most sports, have a young and hungry side who are looking to prove they have what it takes against the best in the world. Captain Thierry Brinkman is just 26 years old and leads the team in that attacking midfield position alongside highly rated 23 year old Jorrit Croon who is also becoming a vital member of the Netherlands squad.