India have their eyes on a direct quarter-final berth as they take on Canada in their last Pool C match of the Hockey World Cup 2018 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
India are currently leading the pool with four points from two games. Belgium have the same points but are second due to inferior goal difference. While India have a goal difference of +5, Olympic silver-medallists Belgium have +1 goal difference.
On the other hand, Canada and South Africa have a point each but the former are third in the pool with better goal difference.
India are in an advantageous position at the moment but the pool is still wide open. Belgium will take on Canada in the first match of the day while India vs Canada will take place at 7.00 PM IST.
Whoever, tops the group will directly qualify for the quarters while the second and third will play cross-over matches against the second and third from the other pool to decide the rest of the quarter-finalists.
Going by records and form, India are hands down favourites to come out victorious against Canada. But as witnessed on Thursday with world number 20 France upsetting Olympic champions Argentina in a Pool A encounter, anything can happen in modern world hockey.
Besides the better rankings, India enjoy a superior head-to-head record against Canada. Since 2013, India and Canada have played five matches with the hosts having won three, lost one and drawn one.