Lausanne, Switzerland, June 17, 2005 - In golf, the penultimate day is commonly know as moving day, where players position themselves in order to challenge for honours on the final run home. With three more weeks remaining in the 2005 World League Intercontinental Round the same terminology can be applied to this weekend's matches as Round Four is shaping up as a crucial weekend for teams to position themselves for the run home.
With all 12 teams still in contention for the final round with six matches each left to play, a victory and two points is becoming increasingly important.
This weekend's matches are wonderfully poised with teams striving for the final round ticket -which goes to the winner of each pool - none more so than in Pools A and C where this weekend features top of the table clashes.
In Pool A, defending champions Brazil, who are in the process of building new combinations, host a new and rejuvenated Portuguese side just two weeks after Portugal recorded a historic victory over them, which in turn was the Olympic and world champions' first World League defeat in 25 matches. It is certain to be a colourful encounter with Brazilian fans traditionally vibrant in their support and hence it has been selected as FIVB's television "match of the week". Meanwhile, Venezuela has the chance to stay in final round reckoning and eliminate any hopes bottom of the table Japan have by doing the double in Tokyo.
In Pool C, Greece take on Poland in Athens remembering that Poland won both their matches when they hosted Greece in round two. The Poles are in control of the group with five wins and only one defeat while Greece will be desperate to collect a victory to add to their 3-3 record and stay in touch with the leaders. Pool C's other match sees final round hosts Serbia and Montenegro host Argentina (both sides have a 2-4 record) with both sides having split their earlier encounter in Buenos Aires.
Meanwhile, a young and exciting Cuba side are big favourites to further extend their lead at the top of Pool B when they host bottom side Bulgaria in Havana. Cuba's record of four victories and two defeats is marginally better than Italy and France (3-3) while Bulgaria have two victories and four defeats and are anxious to claim two victories this weekend to keep them in final round contention. France's home matches against Italy will see two sides looking to do the double for the first time this tournament. For the first three weeks, both Italy and France have split all their matches, including their first round encounter in Sicily.
First matches this week see Greece take on Poland at 18.00 GMT in Athens followed by France's match against Italy in Grenoble at 18.30 GMT.
TV networks interested in broadcasting the event are invited to contact Sports TV Media Distribution, the coordination agency based in Klagenfurt (tel. +43 463 90 8000 ; +43 676 848 606 220 ; +43 676 848 606 217 ; fax +43 463 90 8000 99 ; e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org).
For much more on the 2005 World League visit www.fivb.org