The Men in Blue will hope to thwart a stiff challenge from the Germans.

The FIH Men’s Hockey Pro League 2022-23 is back this March as hosts India take on rivals Germany in a crucial fixture. The important game will be played at the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Rourkela. India are currently in fourth position, while Germany are fifth with the same number of points.

The tournament, being contested among nine teams, has Spain sitting pretty at the top. The Spanish are followed by Argentina and Great Britain in second and third position respectively. So both teams will try to make the most of the situation. A victory would grant the winner three certain points and position them in the top three. Consequently, there is a lot at stake. So before we dive into the main match here’s a look at how the Honamas are shaped up.

About the team

The Germans are currently the No. 1 ranked hockey team in the world. However, they are yet to open their account in the FIH Men’s Hockey Pro League 2022-23. To date, their best performance was a third-place finish in the 2020-21 season. The last edition saw them finishing in fourth place.


German coach Andre Henning is known for his tactical ability and his quality to turn the game around at any moment. The quarter-final match against England at the recently concluded Hockey World Cup is a prime example of that. The Germans went on to win the game after trailing 0-2 throughout the majority of the match.

As a player, Henning represented Germany at the Under-16 and Under-18 levels before a knee injury ended his playing career at 20 years of age. Though coaching was something he had never considered a career opportunity, Henning coached the youth teams at his club HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim to earn some money on the side. Some of his notable students include Thilo Stralkowski and Jan-Philipp Rabente. Both Stralkowski and Rabente would go on to win gold for Germany at the 2012 London Olympics.

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German players to watch against India

Marco Miltkau

German forward Marco Miltkau has looked in sensational touch right through this FIH Men’s Hockey Pro League 2022-23. He is also the highest goal-scorer for Germany with two goals. That too against former Pro League champions Belgium which helped Germany win the game (3-2). Right from his debut for the national side in 2009, Miltkau has been quite a regular in the squad. His presence would certainly spur the German side and might even sting the Indians if they are not careful.

Gonzalo Peillat

Gonzalo Peillat is the trump card in Germany’s ranks. The former Argentine scoring machine is now rendering his services for his new home country of Germany. Peillat made his international debut right here in the previous season of the FIH Men’s Hockey Pro League against Spain. He was also involved in Germany’s dramatic come-from-behind win against the then World No. 1 side Australia.

Peillat’s sensational hat-trick of goals helped Germany win the tightly fought contest (4-3) at the end of the fourth quarter. Ironically Gonzalo’s only goal in this year’s FIH Men’s Hockey Pro League came against his former nation Argentina.

What to expect

The showdown between India and Germany is bound to produce fireworks in Odisha and that is very much guaranteed. Two teams who will give it their all to prove their supremacy. On one hand, India will have a home advantage and on the other, the Germans will bring in their confidence. While India are in the hands of a newly appointed coach in Craig Fulton the Germans have Andre Henning.

Henning is also a recent World Cup winner with the Germans and has got a solid team in his hands. So India will have to administer caution at every juncture while also looking for goal-scoring opportunities.

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