POL vs JPN Dream11 Team: Japan and Poland to begin proceedings in the first knock-out stage match of the showpiece tournament
Succumbing to a surprise defeat against Russia in Pool A, Poland find themselves lucky enough to be accorded another shot at making it to the semi-final of the FIH Series Final. Given the format of the tournament being held in India, the third placed team from Pool A will be locking heads against the second placed team from Pool B today for a place in the last 4.
Japan meanwhile will be considering themselves unfortunate at having to play this extra match. They’ve been immaculate across their group stage matches, not losing a single match till now but the draw against USA hampered their chances of a direct qualification spot. Left in second place by virtue of an inferior goal difference than USA, Japan head into today’s first crossover match unbeaten and heavily the favourites to progress through from this clash.
Poland on the other hand have plenty of work to do. After their opening day trouncing of Uzbekistan, nothing has fallen their way with two defeats on the bounce leaving them in this predicament. Their biggest problem has been the goals they’ve leaked at the back, a lack of composure which saw them go down 3-2 to Russia in their latest contest.
Asian side Japan have to be given the benefit of the doubt in Wednessday evening’s clash. They’ve been a real sight to behold and are favourites for not just this match but for a place in the final as well. Although both the sides have been equally effective when it comes to find the goal, where Japan hold the upper hand when it comes to the back line.
Poland at the moment have a real void left in their defensive setup with a dearth of proper acumen leaving them pummelled off late. Against a Japan unit who have meticulously built out attacks game after game, Poland are going to find it a tedious job in keeping them out. This is going to be an attacking feast, one which Japan should emerge as the winners from.
Goal-Keeper for POL vs JPN Dream11
Maciej from Poland is our pick in this component of the game. He’s been a real wall when it comes to handling the onslaught unleashed on Poland and against Japan expect him to show the same resilience.
Defenders for POL vs JPN Dream11
Given our narrative of this being a goal filled game, we have decided to opt for the mere minimum of three defenders for the encounter. Coming in from Japan will be Yamada and Zendana, two players who have been responsible for seeing Japan concede just three goals, two of which came in a single game against USA.
From the Polish side there was the one choice we unanimously picked. Bratkowski has been an irreplaceable figure for them across the field, a pivotal part not in the centre of the defence but in their penalty corner conversions as well.
Midfielders for POL vs JPN Dream11
We’ll be bulking up our midfield section and we’ll begin with our picks from Poland first. This is a match which holds immense value for them, one of their strongest chances of vying for a semi-final berth and expect them to massively step up their game when it comes to this facet. Pawlak is the player we have decided to repose our faith in given how well adept he is at screening the backline and acting as a shield for them.
A trio of Japanese players are making an advent into our Dream 11 side with us opting for Ochiai, Hoshi and Tanaka Poland have faltered time and time again at the back and these three should function extremely well in unison to exploit the empty spaces Poland are all too guilty of leaving.
Forwards for POL vs JPN Dream11
Kenta and Murata is the two man partnership from the highly ranked Asian side for us. They’ve scored 7 goals in unison this season, cleaning apart defences with such consummate ease that not selecting the two of them would be a mistake for us.
Hulboj comes in from Poland. He’s the highest scoring player in attack in this match and rightfully so given how seamlessly he’s intertwined the moves crafted by his counterparts to fruitfully find the goal upfront.
Captain And Vice-Captain
Kenta from Japan is our captain while we’ve handed Hulboj the vice-captain’s responsibility.
FIH Series Final
Match: Poland Vs Japan, Crossover 1
Date And Time: 12th June, Wednessday- 5:00pm IST
Venue: Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar