Confirmed: England face Belgium semi final at 10:30am Saturday

Adam Dixon at the Odisha Men's Hockey World Cup

England will play Belgium in the semi-finals of the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup at 10:30am UK time this Saturday 15 December. The game will be live on BT Sport in the UK, with highlights following on BBC Sport Online and FIH YouTube.
   
Belgium defeated Germany 2-1 to make it through to the final four, a day after England saw off Olympic Champions Argentina 3-2. The other semi finals sees holders Australia take on the Netherlands.

Kerry's view
Upon confirmation of the semi final ties, England head coach Danny Kerry commented, “Belgium are a team packed full of quality players, they have become a real force in world hockey. However we are very excited, we relish the challenge and opportunity that Saturday presents for this developing group.”

World Cup pedigree
England are into a third consecutive World Cup semi final. They lost the previous two to Australia (2014) and Germany (2010).

England have only ever reached one World Cup final, on home soil in London in 1986. This is the furthest Belgium have ever progressed in the competition.

Head to Head
In World Cups, these two teams have played each other three times, with England winning two and Belgium victorious in the other.
2014, The Hague: England 3-2 Belgium
1978: Buenos Aires: England 0-1 Belgium
1973: Amstelveen: England 5-2 Belgium

Martin milestone
Harry Martin is set to reach 200 combined appearances for England and Great Britain on Saturday. Michael Hoare earned his 100th England cap in Wednesday's quarter final.

Next meetings
Many of these players will face each other again in the new global FIH Pro League in 2019. Great Britain's men host Belgium in London on Sunday 19 May, while they travel to Antwerp eleven days later for the return fixture. England and Belgium then face each other in the pool stage in the European Championships on 18 Aug 2019, again in Antwerp.