Melbourne, Dec 3: High on confidence but ravaged by injuries, the Indian hockey team face a stiff challenge against reigning Olympic champions Germany in their third preliminary league match of the FIH Champions Trophy here tomorrow.
After two consecutive wins against England and New Zealand, India are sitting pretty at the top of Pool A.
But injuries to three key players will be a headache for coach Micheal Nobbs ahead of the crucial encounter against the mighty Germans.
Midfielder Manpreet Singh and striker S V Sunil are on the injury list after yesterday's game against New Zealand and the team management may want to rest them as India have already won both their earlier matches.
India are the only team in the tournament to have won both their matches, leading the group with six points . All other teams in India's group have lost at least one match, with Germany and England both having three points from two outings.
India defeated England 3-1 before posting a convincing 4-2 victory over New Zealand.
In Pool B, defending champions Australia and The Netherlands are tied on four points after their drawn encounter yesterday, leaving them with a win and a draw each from their respective two matches.
The new format devised by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the Champions Trophy since last year allows all eight teams into the knock-out querterfinals, and the significance of the group matches are only reduced to determining the last-eight lineup.