Old Loughtonians, the English champions, will be without Julian Halls and Nick Thompson, who are on duty for Great Britain against Malaysia at Bisham Abbey, when they start the defence of their title at East Grinstead tomorrow and on Sunday in the preliminary round of the Indoor Club Championship.
Even so, with three of the six teams to qualify for finals' night, they look likely to make it, along with St Albans and the host club. All three are very experienced indoor campaigners.
A surprise package could be the West London Institute of Higher Education side, who include the English internationals Peter Gibbins, Mark Pearn and James Wallis and are led by Surbiton's Daniel Geach.
Guildford's Ian Jennings appears once again in the St Albans squad, along with Ben Cope and the German Under-21 international, Henning Tewes - both playing for Oxford University.
In the other section at Perdiswell in Worcester, Barford Tigers look to be the only firm favourites to go through, but the teamwork of Hull and Doncaster could give them the edge to move on to the Crystal Palace finals' night.