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Sumptuous feast as week two throws up top of the table clashes in all three pools

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 1, 2005 – The 2005 World League may only be one week old but already the prospect of some thrilling top of the table encounters is in store. Round two this weekend promises to deliver exhilarating high class Volleyball as all three pools feature crucial match ups with every team looking to gain the early ascendancy in their quest for a World League final round spot.

Remembering that the winner of each pool following the six weekends of Intercontinental Round action will qualify for the final round to join the hosts Serbia and Montenegro (if Serbia and Montenegro win Pool C, the next best team will qualify), this weekend is also crunch time for teams who have yet to win a match.
Pic: Despite two defeats last weekend to Greece, Serbia & Montenegro fans will be happy this week because their second match against Argentina on Sunday is television's "match of the week"
In Pool A, defending champions Brazil travel to Portugal with both sides coming off back-to-back victories against Venezuela and Japan respectively in week one. The charismatic Brazilians were less than convincing last weekend after conceding a surprising three sets against a side who are making their return to the top flight after a year’s absence. Meanwhile, Portugal’s new coach Orlando Samuels was pleased to collect two opening victories but realizes the size of the obstacle which is looming on the horizon this weekend. For Venezuela, two matches against Japan this weekend in Caracas are a golden chance to claim their first victory of the tournament.

Pool C again throws together two sides coming off double victories. Two fascinating matches in Lodz sees two injury hit sides - Poland and Greece - go head to head in what should be an enthralling encounter. Poland were in devastating form at home last weekend beating Argentina 3-1 twice (25-20, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23) and (19-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-22) and they’ll need to repeat that performance against a Greek side who only conceded one set in beating last year’s bronze medalists Serbia and Montenegro. The other match up in Pool C feature’s this weekend’s “match of the week”. Argentina and Serbia & Montenegro face off in Buenos Aires and the second match on Sunday at 9 p.m. GMT (6 p.m. local time) is available for television networks to broadcast worldwide.

Pool B, meanwhile, is more delicately poised. Cuba is unbeaten with two wins over Bulgaria but they must travel to Italy to face last year’s runner’s up. Italy, who are placed second in the group on points ratio, shared their matches with France last weekend but will be hoping for an improved result in week two. France, who are level with Italy have an equaly interesting clash with last year’s finalists Bulgaria, who are aiming to take revenge for last week’s disappointing start.

First matches this week see France play Bulgaria in Nantes and Poland host Greece in Lodz, both matches starting at 19:00 (local time) on Friday.
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