FIH Pro League Preview: GB v Argentina

FIH Pro League Preview: GB v Argentina
Great Britain’s men and women face Argentina on Saturday 18 May in the first home FIH Pro League double header. Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre will play host to the day’s action in which both reigning Olympic champions will be on show; games starting from 1pm – tickets are also available HERE.

Start times reminder
We would like to remind supporters of the start times for this weekend's matches at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre:

Saturday 18 May
Great Britain women vs Argentina, 1pm
Great Britain men vs Argentina, 3pm

Sunday 19 May
Great Britain women vs Belgium, 1pm
Great Britain men vs Belgium, 3pm

The matches were rescheduled roughly eight weeks ago, having previously been scheduled for later in the day. If you purchased seats before the times were amended, you will have been emailed new tickets. If you cannot locate them, your original tickets will also remain valid. We have communicated with supporters by email, SMS and through our website / social media, but wish to ensure that all fans are fully aware of the correct start times.

Repeating history the target for Great Britain’s men
Great Britain’s men’s side will go into Saturday’s encounter full of belief that they can take away a positive result having emphatically defeated Los Leones 5-1 the last time these sides met.

It was a one-sided encounter in Rosario when GB travelled to face Argentina earlier on in the FIH Pro League, Phil Roper and Alan Forsyth bagging braces.

With 26 circle entries and 15 shots during that game, Great Britain showed their attacking powers and will be hoping to replicate that at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Saturday in the first match of the day (1pm pushback).

GB men v Argentina

Since toppling Argentina last time out, GB are yet to lose a match having picked up three points against Germany and drawn against Spain.

Despite only edging past the Germans, GB showed their defensive resolve to keep the hosts out and leave Moenchengladbach with maximum points.

Though Spain were to find a way through last time out as both teams were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw, Great Britain are averaging the fewest goals conceded per game in the FIH Pro League having only conceded 11 goals from six games with no other side averaging under two goals a game.

22-year-old Tom Sorsby is in line to make his international debut this weekend after being named in Danny Kerry’s squad for the upcoming double headers.

Rhys Smith and Liam Ansell have also been added to the 20-man squad with Luke Taylor missing out.

GB men v Argentina

GB’s women hoping for upturn in fortunes 
Though Great Britain’s women were in the ascendancy for much of their match against China last time out, they were unable to find a way to victory and fell to a 2-1 defeat despite having double the amount of shots of their opponents (10).

It’s been a frustrating start to the home FIH Pro League matches for Great Britain’s women who have looked strong at times during their two recent games but are finding their opening win at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre elusive. 

Last time Great Britain’s women faced Argentina in the FIH Pro League, it was Las Leonas who came out on top with a 4-2 victory in Rosario. A close game in which GB just edged the possession count and, despite only having one more shot, Argentina’s clinical finishing saw them through. 

GB v Argentina

Grace Balsdon, who scored a phenomenal drag flick against Argentina last time out, will pick up her 50th Great Britain cap should she feature in Saturday’s game which get’s underway at 3pm. 

2016 Rio Olympic gold medallist Susannah Townsend looks set to feature in her first match of the year after being named in Mark Hager’s 21-strong squad. The GB star hasn’t made an international appearance since picking up an injury in the November 2018 Champions Trophy.

18-year-old Izzy Petter could also make her senior international debut this weekend having received her first ever call up. Jo Hunter, Sabbie Heesh and Sarah Jones also come into the squad whilst Nicki Cochrane and Alex Malzer drop out from the side that faced China. 

Townsend The Pride

Los Leones looking to find form ahead of away trips
After playing all their home games, Argentina’s men will be looking to start their run of five consecutive away matches well when they face Great Britain at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

Having already played nine matches in the FIH Pro League, Argentina have made a strong start to the competition in their home games. But with only two away matches played so far, a 2-1 victory over New Zealand and 3-2 defeat to Australia, Argentina will need to string together some strong performances if they’re to break into the top four.

Recording four wins, four losses and a draw from their matches, the reigning Olympic champions currently sit fifth in the FIH Pro League table.

Los Leones have a potent strike force with both Matias Paredes and Maico Casella recording five goals in the FIH Pro League, only Pau Quemada (8) and Great Britain’s Phil Roper (6) have scored more.

Las Leonas hoping to maintain incredible unbeaten run
Argentina’s women’s team will be full of confidence heading into their clash against GB with the team undefeated in their last eight matches, their last loss coming against the Netherlands in February.

Currently sitting second and looking to keep the pressure on the Netherlands, Argentina will know they can’t afford to drop a point in their final five away games if they want to stand a chance of finishing in top spot. 

Winning seven of their last eight matches, alongside a notable draw against a strong Australian side who they defeated in the shootout, Argentina have been in imperious form over the past couple of months. Last time out, Las Leonas thumped the USA 4-0 with a dominant display.

When the sides last met, it was a competitive game in Rosario as a clinical Argentina side took the three points with a 4-2 victory. Despite not coming away with the victory, it was a positive showing from Great Britain who scored twice against a formidable defence that had kept four consecutive clean sheets in the build-up to that game.

Following the Great Britain match, Las Leonas will only have three games left in the FIH Pro League including an away trip to face the Netherlands in a game which could be significant in deciding which team finishes top.

There’s very limited ticket availability for Saturday’s Argentina double header, act now and get your tickets by clicking HERE.