World League pool E leaders to meet in the Czech Republic
After victories in Ceske Budejovice against Korea, the Czech Republic are now leading group E, one point ahead of the Netherlands. The matches at the SD Arena on Friday and Saturday will decide which of the two teams will top the group at the end of the weekend.
Czech Coach Zdenek Smejkal plans to rotate players going into the game against the Netherlands. "For Chomutov our team was joined by two blockers: Vladimir Sobotka and Marek Beer. In the two matches against the Netherlands we will be without our regular captain Ales Holubec, who won’t be with the team during the rest of the World League matches because he is getting married and his wife is expecting a baby. We will also be without Jiri Kral. We currently have worries with illnesses in our squad, so I am thinking about how to stabilise the team for this weekend. We will probably find the optimal composition for the team at the last minute," he said.
The Czechs have played the Dutch team more often than Korea. The last match between the two countries
was five months ago during the qualification tournament for the FIVB Men's World
Championships 2014, which was played in Opava, Czech Republic. The
Netherlands dominated the match and won 3-0, qualifying for the final
tournament instead of the Czech Republic.
Since then, however, the Czech team
have improved and are now on a great winning streak in the World League, after qualifying for the 2015 CEV European Championship. They will expect a more balanced match against their opponents this time out.