India looked decent against Ireland in their first encounter, but they have a huge match on Monday, with PR Sreejesh's men set to take on Germany, one of the powerhouses in world hockey. This match against Germany is going to be a big test for the team in Rio Olympics.
They might have defeated Ireland, but it was not a flawless performance from the Indian players, who need to take their game to the next level to defeat Germany. Playing against this European nation is a different matter altogether as they have been brilliant in the last two editions of the Olympics, winning gold in Beijing and London.
Skipper Sreejesh is aware of the huge challenge, but guarantees that they will put up a commendable show on Monday.
"Though we won narrowly against Ireland, the team is motivated. What matters is that we have started on a winning note and have earned three points. We are pumped up and we always enjoy taking on big teams like Germany. I am sure we will put up a tough fight against them," said Sreejesh.
India will need their powerful drag flickers like Rupinder Pal Singh and VR Raghunath, who are dangerous during the penalty corners, to convert all the chances they receive.
India scored all their three goals via penalty corners against Ireland, so Germany will come with their homework well done. They will not give much chance for Indian players to penetrate the box. Hence, India need their pacy forwards like SV Sunil and Ramandeep Singh to use their quick feet and catch the German players napping.
That is the offensive side of things for India to take care of, but when it comes to defence, they have to be double sharp. India conceded two goals against Ireland. But they cannot afford to give away even an inch to a team like Germany, which comprises players like Moritz Furste, Niklas Wellen and Linus Butt.
Germany were at their menacing best against Canada in the opening encounter, winning the match 6-2. They looked dangerous in all departments of the game, and if India are not able to contain the German players, they might have to suffer their first loss in Rio 2016.
Going by their current rankings, there is not much to choose between the two teams. Germany are ranked third in the world, while India lie at the fifth position. But Sreejesh's men are the second favourite to emerge victorious.
Where to watch live
India vs Germany men's hockey is scheduled for a 7.30 p.m. IST (11a.m. local time, 3 p.m. BST) start.
Below is the TV and live streaming information for Rio Olympics hockey matches.
UK TV: BBC. Live Streaming: BBCiPlayer.
Brazil: TV: SporTV, Globo, Fox Sports and ESPN.
Argentina: TV: ESPN and DirecTV. Live Streaming: ESPN Play Latin America.
Australia: TV: Channel 7, 7Two and 7Mate. Live Streaming: Channel 7 online.