Stats point to tight race for last two spots in World League Finals
John Speraw's team have their work cut out for them if they are to beat Brazil twice to secure their spot in the World League Finals in Mar del Plata (Argentina) next week.|
Switzerland, July 12, 2013 – There are only two more places left in the World
League Finals that are scheduled to take place in Mar del Plata from July 17 to
Argentina, record nine-time winners Brazil, eight-time champions Italy and the
surprise qualifier Canada have already booked their spots in the Finals next
In Group A,
three of the four top teams from 2012 are still in contention for a place in
the Finals: defending champions Poland, last year’s finalists USA and the team
that finished fourth last season, Bulgaria. In Pool B, Olympic champions Russia
can do no more than sit and watch as Germany look to pull off a smash and grab
raid to wrestle the final ticket from the grasps of the volleyball giants at
the last possible moment.
In the first
pool A match of the weekend, hosts Bulgaria will take on Poland in Varna.
will be hoping to pull off a home win, even though the statistics show that the
last six matches between these two teams in the World League have all been won
One of these
teams will qualify for the Finals in Argentina - that is unless the United
States beat Brazil twice (including at least once by a minimum two-set margin) and
this doubleheader provides favourable results for USA. If Bulgaria or Poland
advance, they will most likely do so as the runners-up in Pool A. The host
country Argentina and the winners of Pool B (Germany or Italy) would be their
opponents in the Finals.
Brazil and the
USA will meet in the second Pool A match of the weekend in Rio de Janeiro.
their past seven meetings the results have alternated and according to this
pattern, Brazil should win the first match and USA the second.
The United States will, however, need to beat Brazil twice to have a chance of
qualifying for the Finals. Besides these two wins, the Bulgaria-Poland
doubleheader has to provide favourable results. If the United States qualify, they will face
the winners of Pool B (Italy or Germany) and the host nation Argentina in Mar
Brazil on the other hand go into this weekend more comfortable than ever, having
already secured a place in the Finals and will win Pool A if they collect at
least two points this weekend. If Bulgaria or Poland does not produce the full
six points, Brazil need one point, or even none to top Pool A. Last week Brazil
became the first nation to win 300 matches in World League history when it beat
Bulgaria and is the only country in this year’s World League with just one
defeat in the competition.
In the last of the Pool B matches for the Intercontinental Round, Iran will
meet Germany at the Azadi Hall in Tehran.
The two countries will meet each
other for the first time at World League level and both teams have a balanced
record in this year’s competition: four wins, four defeats.
Unlike Iran, who have been eliminated from the Finals, Germany are still in
contention due to their three 2-3 losses. Iran are the first debutants in the
World League with multiple victories (4) in the World League since the Czech
Republic in 2003 (10). To reach the Finals Germany will have to beat Iran with
at least a two-set margin in each of the two matches.
more week 7 stats click here
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