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Hockey: Scotland's international rivals

Akin to many sporting teams in Scotland, neither the men or women's national hockey team hold a winning title.

The ladies ranked 7th place in the 2010 Games, while the men sat at 9th, and neither have qualified for the Hockey World Cup which "pushbacks off" in the Netherlands on May 31.

But with this year's Games battling it out on home turf, will our hockey players win that elusive gold medal and make a dent in the history of Scottish sport?

There's some fierce competition ahead as several gold-medal-winning teams arrive in Glasgow. And to give an idea of what we're up against, here's a round up of our nation's most formidable rivals.

Australia

The national women's hockey team in Australia have a knack for bagging a win.

Nicknamed the Hockeyroos, the ladies have been crowned their country's Team of the Year five times, and until 2000, they dominated the world hockey rankings.

Having won a gold medal at the past three Commonwealth Games they stand a good chance of taking home a fourth.

But will they thrive as well in Scotland's cold, wet climate? This isn't something the team will be used to, so it may just work in our favour.

England

England's men won three bronze medals in the 1998 Games and came fourth at New Delhi in 2010.

The team's best placing was in 1986 after being defeated by Australia in the World Cup, so while we may not beat them to gold, it doesn't look we'll take too much of a beating from our friends south-of-the-border.

After all, matches against the auld enemy are something to look forward to. Nothing fuels atmosphere quite like an England vs Scotland stand off.

India

India were once Olympic champions after taking home eight gold medals during their years competing in the tournament.

Having qualified in the World Cup, the men's team are ahead of Scotland this year, and the women's success at the 2002 Games was the inspiration behind the Bollywood film, Chac De India.

With Scotland training hard, there's no reason why they can't prevail against India and become the plot line of, what will hopefully be an accurate, film depiction of sport in Scotland.

Malaysia

Malaysia are currently ranked fourth place in Asia by the International hockey Federation.

However they don't perform as well against fellow Commonwealth nations. Coming eight place at the most recent Games, the team aren't far behind Scotland.

This may well be a victory to bank on.

New Zealand

New Zealand's men beat Australia in 1976 and landed at third place in the 2010 Games.

The team, also known as Black Sticks Men, are certainly one Scotland need to prepare themselves for.

But even if we don't prevail, against any of the teams competing, we'll still anchor a gold for national pride, something no other country stands a chance of taking from us.

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