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FIVB World League 2006
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Host Russia plays Serbia and Montenegro in its opener

Russia's Serbian head coach Zoran Gajic

Moscow, 23 August 2006 - Under their Serbian head coach Zoran Gajic, Russia will face Serbia and Montenegro this evening in their opening match at home in Moscow. Gajic ensures that there will be no conflict of interest as his team faces the strong Balkan side that has placed among the final four in the last six editions of the tournament and took the silver medal on home turf last year.

Serbia and Montenegro qualified as leader of Pool A after entering the final weekend of the preliminary round tied with Poland and facing tougher matches against the USA. “We have a lot of young players and hope they will gain strength from their experience in this tournament,” said head coach Ljubomir Travica.

Russia last won the World League title in 2002 and, although the host countries have not fared well in the World League finals over the past few years, Gajic feels that the pressure can be put to positive effect: “There is pressure, but with a strong team and players, you can cope. Pressure can bring out the best in the team.”