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Rediff.com  » Sports » History favours Germany as they aim for hat-trick of WC titles

History favours Germany as they aim for hat-trick of WC titles

Last updated on: March 12, 2010 15:46 IST

Defending champions Germany will be gunning for a historic hat-trick of titles while Australia will be eyeing their first in 24 years when the two lock horns in the final of the Hero Honda FIH hockey World Cup in New Delhi on Saturday.

Notwithstanding the fact that they are here with a young and relatively inexperienced side, with their consistency, the Germans have showed what it needs to rule world hockey.

Germany, who triumphed in 2002 and 2006, came into the tournament with only three players - Jan-Marco Montag, Moritz Furste and Matthias Witthaus - from their victorious campaign in the last edition in Monchengladbach.

But it hardly affected their performance at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium and they approach the summit clash with an unbeaten record in the tournament so far.

Though, without their main penalty corner specialist Christoph Zeller in the side, the Germans started their title defense on a cautious note with a 2-2 draw against plucky South Korea.

From there on they made significant improvements match after match, proved by their convincing 4-1 victory over an impressive England in the semi-final.

Under young Maximillian Muller's captaincy, the Germans have bettered their performance with every passing match.

The match will also give the reigning Olympic champions a chance to avenge their last year's Champions Trophy defeat at the hands of Australia in Melbourne, which was incidentally the last meeting between the two sides before the World Cup.

However, in terms of statistics, the Germans have an upper hand as they defeated Australia three times out of the four matches they played in the World Cup.

If that was not enough, it was the same Kookaburras who Germany overcame in the last two World Cup finals. And going by their record, Muller's men would be aiming to add insult to Australia's injury for the third consecutive time.

Australia, on the other hand, have been in ruthless form after their shocking 3-2 loss against England in their tournament opener.

Luke Doerner has been spot on with penalty corners and has so far converted seven of them in the tournament to lead the goal-scorers chart.

To add to that, the trio of Glenn Turner, Desmond Abbot and experienced Jamie Dwyer is a force to reckon with upfront and it will be a test of character for the Muller-led German defence.

Looking at the strengths and weaknesses of both the sides, the match is expected to be a contest between Australia's lethal attack and the German's defence led by captain Muller from the front.

For Australia, the high stakes associated with the game can be ascertained from star player Dwyer's statement, who said the Aussies want to end their final jinx against Germany on Saturday.

"Twice when we came up against Germany in the final we had lost. We want to change it by winning tomorrow. They (Germany) are a very good and solid side, hopefully we will take our chances and win the final tomorrow," he said.

"It could be German defence versus and Australian attack and we hope we will get some early goals," Dwyer added.

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