Finland hoping to capitalise on home advantage against Australia
Finland are third in Pool C with four points and Australia fourth with three points. Belgium lead the group with 10 points and Canada are second with seven points.
Finland played in the first round in Canada and after that in Australia. Now, after their trip around the world, they can play in their home arena, Tampere Ice Hall, and they are aiming to take more points from these two matches.
Coach Tuomas Sammelvuo has made a couple of changes to his roster. Wing spiker Olli Kunnari, middle blocker Konstantin Shumov and opposite player Olli-Pekka Ojansivu will be back.
Young Finnish libero Lauri Kerminen injured his ankle in Canada and will not be playing. This gives a chance to experienced libero Timo Tolvanen, 36, to get back into the national team. He is among the 14 players who are in Tampere and ready to play against Australia.
The last time Tolvanen played in the national team was almost eight years ago in 2006 at Le Cannet in France in a World Championship qualification tournament.
“I have rather mixed feelings,” Tolvanen admitted. “Of course, it is great to be back in the national team, but I’m sorry about the injury of Lauri Kerminen. I am in a good shape and quite excited about this.”
Finland and Australia will play in Tampere on Saturday and Sunday.