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Brilliant battle to open Round Six

June 28, 2005 – Two teams needing two victories to claim a ticket to the Final Round. No one could have written a better script, not only for this match but for this group, with Cuba and France in the same predicament.

When looking at this contest one has to fancy Bulgaria’s chances, considering they’re playing at home, which is traditionally a cauldron of intensity often feared by visiting teams. But when seeing eight-time World League champions and last year’s silver medallists Italy will line up on the other side of the net, one has to say, the only thing guaranteed is a contest of the highest order.

These two teams split their matches when they played in Italy in Week Three with both sides claiming a 3-2 victory. In fact, Italy have only done the double any one weekend once and Bulgaria have only lost two weekend matches by the same frequency.

World number 13 against world number two. Something tells you Gianpaolo Montali has something up his sleeve to sneak into the finals at the last moment. It would be akin to a sprinter leaning forward to break the tape first. Either way, the main thing is Italy could finish outside of the top four in World League history.

Bulgaria and Italy start the festivities this weekend when they play the first of their two matches in Varna at 15:00 GMT (18:00 local time) on Friday. The second match is pencilled in for Sunday at 17:30 GMT (20:30 local time).
 
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