Pre-favorites in full swing after two rounds are completed in CEV Volleyball Champions League
In the men’s competition, 10 teams have a perfect record after scoring convincing wins in the first two legs and bringing home six points to top their respective Pools.
Russia’s Zenit Kazan and Lokomotiv Novosibirsk (in Pools A and B, respectively), Italy’s Trentino Diatec (four-time club world champions) and Poland’s Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle (Pool C), Lube Banca Marche Macerata of Italy (Pool D), Dinamo Moscow of Russia and Poland’s PGE Skra Belchatow (Pool E), plus Noliko Maaseik of Belgium (Pool F), Italy’s Bre Banca Lannutti Cuneo and Asseco Resovia Rzeszow of Poland (Pool G), have all easily disposed of their opponents.
The next rounds of play – the third leg is scheduled for next week – will further clarify the situation in the various groups where a tough battle is expected. Only the first-ranked teams are assured a spot for the Playoffs.
In the women’s competition, the only major sensation was produced by Schweriner SC. The side from Germany earned a memorable 3-2 home win in the first round of play to edge last year’s bronze medallists, Dinamo Kazan.
Turkey seems to be a major force to reckon with, as Eczacibasi VitrA, Vakifbank and rookie Galatasaray Daikin are all sitting atop their pools with six points after two rounds of play. A similar performance was recorded by Rabita Baku, with the silver medallists from the 2012 FIVB Club World Championship topping the table in Pool B while two 'outsiders', namely debutantes 2004 Tomis Constanta and Lokomotiv Baku, are setting the pace in Pools E and F, respectively. The battle for the Playoffs will continue next week with leg three and provide the first hints – halfway through the League Round – of which teams are most likely to make it to the knockout stage.
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