'Match of the Week' action hots up as Poland host Brazil
The 'Match of the Week' allows broadcasters to televise for free one match from each week of the FIVB’s premier annual tournament for men and in round five it is the clash between Stephane Antiga's and Bernardo Rezende’s teams.
The first match takes place in Poland’s ancient capital Krakow at 19:30 on Friday, while for the second the teams move 470-kilometres to the Luczniczka Hall in Bydgoszcz with the match scheduled to begin at 19:30 on Sunday.
Polish fans have responded in great numbers to the first match in the Krakow Arena, which has already sold out its 16,000 capacity, so there is sure to be a colourful backdrop to the match.
The two teams are chasing Italy at the top of Pool A and both are on eight points, 11 points behind Mauro Berruto’s side. When they met earlier in the tournament at the Ginasio Chico Neto in Maringa Brazil won the first 3-0 (25-23, 29-27, 25-19) before Poland hit back a day later with a 3-0 (26-24, 28-26, 25-21) victory of their own.
In total the teams have played each other 31 times in the World League, with the Brazilians enjoying 22 victories to Poland’s nine. However Poland are on a run of six home victories and have lost only two in their last 12 home fixtures, though both of those were to Brazil in 2013, 3-2 loss in Lodz and 3-1 in Warsaw.
Poland go into the match having beaten Italy twice at home in the previous round of matches, while Brazil won one and lost one away to Iran.
“We are still getting to know each other and our play,” Poland opposite Mariusz Wlazly said. “We still have time to improve some elements. Everybody wants to earn a spot in the team which will play in the World Championship, so we all give 100 percent. It is a healthy rivalry which accompanies us in this sport every day.”
The first World League 'Match of the Week' saw Brazil, last year’s World League silver medallists and current world champions, take on Italy in a pool A match on May 24 in Jaragua Do Sul, Brazil. The Italians defeated Brazil 3-1 (17-25, 26-24, 23-25, 20-25).
Week two 'Match of the Week' featured Serbia's against Russia 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-20) victory. In week three, the programme highlighted the outdoors pool A match between Italy and Poland from the Foro Italico in Rome, which the hosts won 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 15-25, 25-17) in front of 11,000 enthusiastic fans.
The United States’ 3-2 (25-22, 25-12, 26-28, 23-25, 15-13) win over Serbia at the UIC Pavillion in Chicago provided great entertainment for the watching fans in week four’s match of the week.
Week six will feature Russia, this time taking on USA in a pool B match on June 28 at 18.00 at the Yantarny Arena in Kaliningrad. In week 7, fans will be able to watch Bulgaria host Russia in a pool B match on July 6 at 20.00 at the Arena Armeec in Sofia.
The FIVB Volleyball World League which began on May 23 will end with the Finals taking place on July 20.