Antwerp welcomes indoor’s finest for European Cup

Antwerp’s Lotto Arena will host Europe’s finest indoor teams – including six of the top eight rated sides in the world – as the EuroHockey Cup gets under way next Friday.

Top seeds Germany will be the favourites and they line up in a group with Denmark, Poland and the Czech Republic. World number two Austria are in a group with Russia (fourth), Switzerland (8) and outsiders Belgium (16th).

Despite being lowly ranked, the Belgians have made huge strides in the indoor format in recent times and they will be backed by a very strong crowd with 5,000 spectators already having bought tickets to the event.

The side features the recently retired outdoor international goalkeeper Jeremy Gucassoff. He is among four Racing Club de Bruxelles men in the squad along with Thibault Cornillie, Pierre-Louis Maraite and Thomas Vanneste while Real Club de Polo’s Max Plennevaux in their line-up for the event.

In their group, Austria – with the goal machine Michael Körper in the mix – look the side to beat.

In Pool A, Germany are employing a wholly different side for the Europeans compared to the indoor World Cup with Moritz Fürste and Linus Butt providing the experience for a young panel.

Uhlenhorst Mülheim’s Malte Hellwig and Mannheimer’s Teo Hinrichs are among talents who are also likely to appear in the EHL at Easter in Rotterdam.

** You can see each game in the competition live on the EHF’s channel: with games getting underway on Friday at 10am (CET).