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Portugal and the Netherlands play for top spot in World League pool E

Portugal take on the Netherlands at the "Centro de Congressos e Desportos" in Matosinhos this weekend
Porto, Portugal, June 19, 2014 - Five of the last six matches between Portugal and the Netherlands went to five sets, producing thrilling displays of balanced volleyball. The two teams meet again in World League action this weekend when Portugal will hope to strengthen their hold on first place in pool E.

Portugal and the Netherlands occupy the first and second places in pool E, after sharing victories in Almere two weeks ago. Portugal now host the Netherlands at the "Centro de Congressos e Desportos de Matosinhos" on Saturday and Sunday, for two matches which will go a long way to determining which team will finish top of the pool.

“It’s true that playing at home has not been beneficial for us and has been a factor of greater pressure to all the players and the team. But I think these are two good matches to reverse this trend and show the opposite: that the home factor, with the hall full of fans cheering for the team, can be very good for us and thus give one more joy to the sport fans. I believe that it will be two very balanced matches, but hope that the outcome will be favorable to us," said Portugal coach Hugo Silva.

"Above all, we will maintain what we always stood for since the beginning, which is to fight for victory in all matches, dignify the country and leave, where we play, a good image of the sport. Our goals remain unchanged and therefore it will be two more matches where we will fight for the victory, with the extra motivation that if we achieve positive results we may even get a result against one of the stronger teams in the competition," he added. " The Netherlands made some changes in the Czech Republic and we are studying the best strategy for a team that perhaps will be different from the one we played earlier in the competition. It will be a much stronger team, with nothing to lose, and players will want to demonstrate their value to the coach."

Portugal go into their matches against the Netherlands on the back of two wins and four losses to the Dutch in their last six encounters. The two matches in Matosinhos this weekend will demonstrate whether their current form is sufficient to improve that record.


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