JOHOR BARU: Six of the eight teams in the 2023 Sultan of Johor Cup will get a chance to test their mettle against their Junior World Cup opponents when the event gets underway here from Oct 27-Nov 4 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

The Junior World Cup will be held in Kuala Lumpur from December 5-16.

Host Malaysia and Australia are in Group A for the Junior World Cup while Germany and South Arica headline Group B. New Zealand and Pakistan are bunched together in Group D.

The other Junior World Cup team in the Sultan of Johor Cup is defending champions India. Great Britain failed to make the cut for the Junior World Cup.

Malaysian Juniors team manager I. Vicknesweren said that it is a good opportunity for teams to learn more about their opponents ahead of the Junior World Cup.

“I am sure that all the teams will feel the same way. This provides the opportunity for teams to learn and fine-tune their squad. Getting the chance to play against tour Junior World Cup opponents is a great way to prepare,” he added.

This year the Sultan of Johor Cup will see eight teams in the fray for the first time. Seven of teams will also be playing in the Junior World Cup in December. Great Britain is the exception after losing in the European qualifying tournament.

Vicknesweren said the Britain still is still a strong side and cannot be underestimated.

“All the seven teams invited for the tournament are strong and each have their own objectives. Britain has nothing to lose against these teams and will be out to at least add to their three titles that they have won in the past,” he said.

Germany, who last played here in 2012, will be one of the favoured teams for the title. They were champions when they made their debut. Defending champions India and Australia are teams that will join them as title contenders.

Malaysia who finished last in the previous year will be out to redeem themselves.

“Of course, we want to do better and improve on the sixth placing. But then we also have the objective of wanting to fine tune the team and assess the players. It is the individual performances that we will be looking at with the selection for the Junior World Cup,” he added.

The Junior World Cup Groupings

Group A: Australia, Argentina, Malaysia, Chile.

Group B: Germany, Egypt. France, South Africa.

Group C: India, Spain, South Korea, Canada.

Group D: Holland, New Zealand, Belgium, Pakistan.