This week , we take a look at Pool B at the up-coming Women's Hockey World Cup in London.
This Pool is perhaps the most even of all the pools, so you can argue very strongly that this is the group of death for all the teams competing in it. Pool B includes the following teams-
All team as you can see in this pool are equally as strong as each other which makes it a very hard pool to pick as to who the top 2 going through to the knock-out stage of the tournament will be. Lets look closely at the teams-
- India are getting stronger going into this World Cup having recently won the Asian Champions Trophy as well as finishing 4th at the recent Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, the crucial match for India here assuming they make sure they beat Ireland will be against the powerful USA, if they win that then they are very likely to qualify for the knock-out stage.
- The USA should based on the last World Cup and recent succes on the international stage, go through and either top or qualify in the second spot for the knockout stages at the World Cup. The crucial matches will be against England and India, if they win both then they most likely top the pool. However if they drop one of these then they throw the group wide open.
- As host nation England should top this group and go onto the knockout stages in good shape, but its not going to be easy for the host nation. They should beat both India and Ireland, then it will all come down to the USA game to make sure they go through in top spot, there is just one problem World Cups rarely go as planned and they would only need to slip up once and they may actually be in danger of not qualifiying at all.
- Ireland I guess are the surprise packet of this pool, but I personally believe they are the team that will and can upset the plans of others within this pool. On there day Ireland can beat England, India and the USA, and while they might not beat all three, I certainly think its possible for them to get enough points to qualify for the knock-out stage after that who knows what might happen.
So my final prediction for how Pool B will finish is-
Next week we will move on to look at Pool C which includes the powerful Germany.