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Full house expected at Centennial Hall as Poland go back to work

A full house is expected at Centennial Hall in Wroclaw when hosts Poland take on Australia on Tuesday
Wroclaw and Krakow, Poland, September 2, 2014 – Day 4 at the FIVB Men’s World Championship features the return into the action of hosts Poland this time playing at the Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, following their historic victory at the Warsaw National Stadium over Serbia last Saturday before a record crowd.

The red-and-white team will play Australia in a remake of their clash at the 2012 Olympic Games when the guys from Down Under scored a stunning 3-1 victory at Earls Court in London.

In Krakow, United States and Iran, winners of their openers battle each other in their attempt to stay undefeated in Pool D

Argentina v Serbia

Losers to Poland in opening day, Serbia meet a serious opponent Argentina trying to elude succumbing back-to-back in the two first matches at a World Championship for the first time.

On the other hand, the Argentineans triumphed 3-0 over Venezuela behind Facundo Conte’s performance.

Serbia won the two matches these sides have played at the World Championship in 2006 and in 2010, but the last time they clashed in a high level event was during the 2011 World Cup with the South Americans winning 3-0.

•Argentina are riding on a three-match winning streak at the World Championships

•By losing to Poland, Serbia saw halted an 11-match streak without losing 3-0

•The previous 3-0 victory of Argentina was also over Venezuela in 2010

Venezuela v Cameroon

Both Venezuela and Cameroon lost their opening matches in Pool A to Argentina and Australia, respectively last Sunday so this is a crucial contest for the two sides.

These two teams met once before in the 13-16 classification round at the 1990 World Championship in Curitiba, Brazil with the victory going to Cameroon by a 3-0 whitewash.

Venezuela have defeated the African opponents in four of their last five meetings including a 3-0 win over Egypt in 2002.

Trying to stop Venezuelan opposite Kervin Pinuera could be a tough task for the Cameroonians.

Key facts

•Venezuela’s last victory at the World Championships came in 2006 against Iran by 3-0 score

•Cameroon’s two victories at the WCH came against Venezuela (1990) and Australia (2010)

•Venezuela are looking to snap a seven-match losing streak

Australia v Poland

Both Australia and Poland tasted success in their first outings at the 2014 edition of the FIVB Men’s World Championship against Cameroon and Serbia, respectively. 

Poland won behind the offensive trio of Michal Winiarski, Marius Wlazly and Mateuz Mika plus the support of more than 60,000 at the Warsaw National Stadium. Australia’s win received help from Edgar Thomas’18 points.

The two teams have never played at the World Championships but, while hosts Poland came up with the top hand the four times the sides squared off at the 1990 World League, it was the Australians who scored a stunning 3-1 victory at the London, Olympic Games.

Key facts

•Poland and Australia both won their first matches 3-0 in sets and 75-55 in points

•Australia have never won consecutive matches at the World Championships

•Poland won their first three matches in the previous three WCH

United States v Iran

World League champions and fourth world-ranked United States won a grueling five-set battle with Belgium in their opener in Pool D, when Taylor Sander scored an impressive 24 points. On the other hand, Iran stunned Italy in four sets on Sunday with Seyed Mousavi registering an astonishing 8 blocks.

Iran and United States have met twice before at the World Championship with USA winning on both occasions: 3-2 in 1970 and 3-0 in 2006.

In their most recent contest, in the semifinals of the 2014 FIVB World League, United States dispatched Iran 3-0 in the semifinals en route to the title. 

Key facts

• United States have won their four matches with Iran, including two at Worlds
• Iran won for the first time their opener match at the World Championship

• United States have won 10 of their last 14 World Championship matches

Belgium v Puerto Rico 

The two teams will be stepping into unknown territories on Tuesday as Belgium and Puerto Rico never have played each other at a major tournament.

In their first matches on Sunday, Belgium lost a tough five-setter against United States, while Puerto Rico lost three close consecutive sets to France.

Belgium’s Gert Van Welle and Sam Deroo had 13 and 12 points, respectively, as top scorers in the five-set loss to United States, while Puerto Rico’s Maurice Torres and Hector Soto also had 13 and 12 in the 3-0 defeat to France.

Key facts

• Puerto Rico have lost all their 12 matches against European teams at the World Championship 

• Belgium’s most recent meeting with a NORCECA team was Canada four times at the 2014 WL with each team winning twice.

• The last time Belgium lost two consecutive World Championship matches was in 1974 to Mexico and Cuba.

France v Italy

France and Italy have contested six times at previous World Championships, with both winning three times.
While the Frenchmen began this time with a 3-0 victory over Puerto Rico, it was not the case for the Italians who lost to Iran in four frames –the first Iranian win against Italy in the history of the competition which began in 1949.

Key facts

•Italy have won the last two matches versus France at the World Championships in 2006 and 2010

• France have succeeded on winning their second match in the last three editions

• Italy are currently on a 3-game losing streak and they have not lost four in a row since 1986


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