Harmanpreet Singh
Harmanpreet Singh.Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Defending champions India take on Japan in the semi-final of Asian Hockey Champions Trophy 2018 at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Oman on Saturday, October 27.

When is the match and how to watch it live on TV, online

The semi-final between India and Japan will start at 9:10 pm local time, 10:40 pm IST and 6:10 pm BST. 

Star Sports Network will provide the live television coverage of the match in India. The live stream will be available on Hotstar. 

India vs Japan preview

Holders India start as overwhelming favourites to reach the final after having topped the table at the end of the round-robin stage. 

The Manpreet Singh-led team were unbeaten in the group stages, winning four of their five matches. After starting the tournament with an 11-0 thrashing of Oman, the Indians went on to win four more and played out a goalless draw against Malaysia. 

India scored a total of 27 goals, 13 more than second-placed Pakistan and conceded just two — the least in the tournament.

On the other hand, reigning Asian Games champions Japan managed to finish fourth with only two wins from five matches. They haven't been able to maintain the same intensity with which they played at the continental tournament in Jakarta last month. 

Japan and India have met 13 times in the past, with the latter, who are ranked fifth on the men's hockey charts, winning 12 of them. The Asian giants crushed the 16th-ranked side 9-0 in their round-robin stage meeting earlier in the tournament. 

Harmanpreet Singh, the top-scorer in the tournament with six goals, along with Mandeep Singh and Dilpreet Singh, have been in fine form, making life difficult for opposition defenders. Coach Harendra Singh would be hoping for similar intensity when the tournament favourites take the field on Saturday. 

Captain Manpreet has conceded that India haven't done well in the later stages of multi-national tournaments in the recent past but insists his team will not take Japan lightly in the semi-final. With the Hockey World Cup approaching, the Asian giants will be keen on going the distance in Muscat and carry forward the confidence to the global spectacle, starting November 28 in Bhubaneshwar. 

"We know that we go into the match as the favourites but that doesn't mean anything if we don't perform on the field. We will be ready to fight for every duel and every ball, and we will look to start the match well," Manpreet said. 

India squad

Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, Krishan Bahadur Pathak.

Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Varun Kumar, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Surender Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Hardik Singh.

Midfielders: Manpreet Singh (c), Sumit Nilakanta Sharma Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam.

Forwards: Akashdeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh.