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Russia and Bulgaria seek to end winless streak in World League

Bulgarian Todor Skrimov discusses game tactics with coach Camillo Placi

Surgut, Russia, June 11, 2014 – Russia and Bulgaria are seeking their first victory on the fourth week of the FIVB Volleyball World League to revive their season campaigns in pool B at the DS Energetik on Friday and Saturday.

The participations of the young players who represented the Russian side on the third week in Long Beach, USA ended in vain. Injuries and exhaustion of the team's main players after the Russian club championship had forced coaches to make changes before the competition.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria managed to slightly improve their game last weekend to take the third spot in their pool. Both teams, however, are facing an emergency and cannot afford to lose more points in the matches ahead.

In previous encounters in the World League, Russia have the edge over Bulgaria. Russia won three of their four meetings with Bulgaria in 2011.

Russian fans have greater expectations for their home team and hope that home court advantage will help them to earn their first World League victory this season. Olympic champions Dimitriy Muserskiy, Nikolay Apalikov and Dimitry Ilinykh, as well as their highly-experienced team-mates Alexey Verbov, Alexey Spridonov and Sergey Makarov, will join the team on Saturday night to put pressure on the Bulgarians.

Coach Camillo Placi stays optimistic even though Bulgaria will be without the services of twins Georgi and Valentin Bratoev, and Nikolay Nikolov.

“We are going to Russia with one thought - to show a good game,” coach Placi said. “We have our little problems but we try to resolve them in the course of the competition. We have made rotations in the team composition and now some of our younger players will have the opportunity to gain invaluable experience. This is a great feeling - to see how debutants fit into an established team.”

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