Bhubaneswar: Belgium captain Thomas Briels is expecting a tough challenge from India in the upcoming two FIH Hockey Pro League matches at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium scheduled to be played on Saturday and Sunday.
“India is looking really sharp as well, and they have been playing well which is something we saw in their initial two matches against the Dutch. We expect a tough couple of matches, and it’s going to be a good fight for us as well,” said Briels after his team’s arrival in the city on Wednesday.
“Of course, we are wary of the threat that they possess, but we are really excited to play a tough opponent like India so we can improve further before the Olympics.”
Having already tasted success in their matches against former World No. 1 Australia and World No. 8 New Zealand with victories, World No. 1 Belgium currently sit atop the points table with 11 points, while India are currently fifth with 5 points from their two matches which they played against the Dutch in January.
Briels also said that the tournament serves them well in their preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“I think the FIH Hockey Pro League is a really good competition for us to take part in, right before the Olympic Games. It gives us time to prepare ourselves well, and also face tough competition along the way.”
“We have started the competition well, and want to make sure we keep the momentum. The team is really working hard, and we had some hard training sessions in Australia as well before arriving here,” said the veteran.