Lausanne, Switzerland, June 04, 2003 - Two top-of-the-table matches highlight another action-packed three days of World League fever across four Pools this weekend in week four of the FIVB $15 million World League Intercontinental Rounds, the world's top annual competition in men's Volleyball.
In Pool C, the Netherlands, who have turned around a disappointing patch of form prior to the World League, sit atop of Pool C with only one defeat and their two matches with second-placed Bulgaria this weekend in Amsterdam are shaping up to be crunch games. Bulgaria is coming off a huge upset having beaten European and Olympic champions Serbia and Montenegro in their second match last weekend and will be eager for another big-name scalp starting on Friday night. Third-placed Serbia and Montenegro have another difficult assignment this weekend with a visit to Cuba where they will have to overcome the youthful Cuban side, who have one win to date, and their passionate fans.
Pool D throws up the other key clash. With the Pool having started a week earlier than the other three groups, the two leaders Greece and World Championship bronze medallists France are both after two wins this weekend to give them a kick start with only three Intercontinental Rounds remaining in their Pool. Two wins for the home side will go along way to confirming a World League Finals spot while France will be aiming not to lose any more ground after dropping two games against the Czech Republic last weekend. The surprise package of last weekend hosts Japan this weekend and will be hoping to continue their great form in Ostrava to keep them in touch with second-placed France and stay in Finals contention.
In the two remaining groups, Pool A sees defending World League champions Russia visit Spain with the clear goal of maintaining their impressive unbeaten record in the two matches in Torrevieja, while Poland, who sit equal with Spain on six points but ahead on set ratio, hosts Venezuela with the South Americans still searching for their first win.
And in Pool B the two big guns Italy and Brazil are split, following their heavyweight clash last weekend, with the World League superpowers Italy having the awkward job of beating Germany away while Brazil have the tricky task of overcoming a fast-improving Portuguese side on their home turf and without their captain Nalbert, who is being rested.
Catch all four Pools in action from Friday to Sunday LIVE along with player profiles, match reports and all the latest information at www.fivb.org