Rome, Italy, October 7, 2010 – It's D-Day at the FIVB Men’s World Championship: Do-or-Die.
Three spots for the semifinals are still up-for-grabs as the premier event for men's Volleyball continues, with Serbia the only team guaranteed a place in the next round.
The well deserved Brazilian prestige is at stake tonight at Palalottomatica when the two-time defending world champions and Olympic silver medalists meet a determined Germany in Pool R for a ticket to Rome.
Hosts Italy will then look for a much needed win against France, while USA will be waiting in the wings with their chances in Pool O clinging to a three-way tie possibility.
At the Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence, the highly touted teams of Cuba and Bulgaria will be pitted in Pool Q for a formidable encounter between two hungry sides full of talented athletes.
The other match in Florence features a battle for the minor places between Russia and Argentina in Pool P. The Russians have never finished lower than seventh in any international competition and with their chances of the top four over, it is going to be quite interesting to see if they can keep alive that streak against the young South American squad.
Pool R in Rome
Oct 6: BRA (1) v GER (11) 5pm
The first outing of defending world champions Brazil in the third round saw the South American giants use the maximum of their ability and experience to prevail in five sets against a resilient Czech Republic side. Don’t expect anything less tonight when the kings of volleyball meet the squad of Raul Lozano at Palalottomatica of the Eternal City. The Argentinean at the helm of the German vessel said it perfectly on Tuesday after making a quick demolition of the Czech team. “When we play good we are tough to beat and if we can eliminate the reverence we can play with them,” he stated. On the other side, Bernardo Rezende’s squad is fresh from a rest day and it’s like money in the bank they will be ready to rumble from the initial whistle. The Boys from Brazil lead 17-5 the head to head matches against Germany and last time these two teams played Brazil won 3-0 at the Beijing Games.
Pool O in Rome
Oct 6: ITA (5) v FRA (12) 9pm
The “Azzurri” passed with good marks their biggest test of the third round when they cleared a high hurdle against USA on Tuesday. Playing their hearts out, Italy proved they belong to the final four elite and tonight they will be determined to complete the job against a team of France decimated by the injury of Antonin Rouzier, the biggest weapon for “les bleus” side. Anything can happen in sports but odds will be almost totally inclined to favour Italy when the two meet and thousands of “tifosi” will be in the stands rooting for the home boys. The victory against USA extended Italy’s winning streak to six in a row and a “lucky seven” is around the corner. The Frenchmen arrived to the third round with a 4-1 win-loss record but were pulverized in 68 minutes by the Americans. Italy leads 31-21 in their past history and won 3-1 this year at Toulouse in a World League match.
Pool P in Florence
Oct 6: ARG (9) v RUS (2) 5 pm
Russia’s hopes of a final four berth in the 2010 FIVB World Championship sustained a fracture last night at the hands of the high quality Serbia team. How the big blow mentally affected the colossal Russians is yet to be seen with the match against Argentina deciding who play in the 5-8 semifinals at PalaPanini in Modena and who stays in Florence for the 9-12 positions. In the history of international competitions –World Championships, World Leagues and Olympics- Russia has never finished lower than seventh so that honour is at stake for them to defend at Nelson Mandela Forum. Russia exhibits an overwhelming 9-1 advantage in the head to head clashes with Argentina and last time they played Russia took home a straight-set victory at the 2007 Word Cup in Saitama, Japan.
Pool Q in Florence
Oct 6: BUL (7) v CUB (8) 9pm
This is probably the main feature of Wednesday’s agenda in the third round competition with two teams close to each other in terms of world rankings. The win against Spain on Tuesday, improved Cuba’s win-loss record to 5-1 including a five-set victory over Brazil in the first round. The ups and downs are frequent for the young Cuban squad that have finished fourth in the last two World Leagues and badly want to take a further step here. They gave away 33 points and still got the better hand versus Spain thanks mainly to 18 blocks, including eight from captain Robertlandy Simon. Bulgaria (4-2), a seven-place finisher in the 2010 World League, had to battle Spain for almost two hours before taking the victory in four sets. Cuba and Bulgaria have played each other 32 times in official competitions with the Caribbean team winning 19 of those contests. In their most recent match, Bulgaria won 3-0 in last year’s World League.
FIVB Press Department Director - Richard Baker
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