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Finland and Serbia to meet in vital World League match

Finnish center Konstantin Shumov spikes and Serbian Marko Podrascanin blocks in the side's last encounter with Serbia earlier in the tournament
Tampere, Finland, June 15, 2011 – Finland and Serbia both have struggled with their own game during the first half of the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World League so will be equally keen to clinch a pair of wins this weekend when the two teams face each other in Tampere.

Finland has played six matches and won only once, against Serbia in Belgrade on the first weekend. Surprisingly Serbia has also been in trouble and has won only three matches out of six, less than was expected before the start of the premier annual men’s volleyball tournament.

In last week's home matches in Lahti, Finland lost twice to pool leaders Argentina although the Finns fought quite well.

"We must concentrate to improve our own game,” Finland star Tuomas Sammelvuo said. “When it gets better then we will get victories and go up from the fourth place in the pool."

"We have this week time to practice and then against Serbia we will see if we have improved our game. I definitely believe that we will find our own game and we will win Serbia."

"We must not worry too much. We need a little shakeup to wake the players."

However Finnish setter and captain Mikko Esko expects a couple of tough matches.

"Serbia is not an easy opponent,” he said. “We beat them in Serbia once with a very good game. We must improve those things that did not work against Argentina. We aim to win both of the matches.”

The matches between Finland and Serbia will be played on Friday and on Saturday in Tampere Ice Hockey Arena in Finland.


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