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Bulgaria play 150th match; Brazil to hit century mark in wins

Second day of the second round of the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship continues with Brazil and Bulgaria aiming to achieve new team records
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 11, 2014 – Bulgaria will pay their 150th match, while Brazil will attempt to be the second team to achieve 100 victories in the FIVB Volleyball World Championship on Thursday. 

Wednesday’s rivals Bulgaria and Brazil, who have been constant participants of the World Championship, will achieve new records in their respective matches. Brazil, who have kept their record clean will play Asian side China, while Bulgaria will face European neighbours Germany in Katowice. 

In other matches, Argentina and Iran will have their clash in Pool E in Bydgoszcz, followed by the contest between Australia and France. In Lodz, winners Serbia and USA will face-off, while Poland and Italy play the decider to break their losing spells. Canada, who are having a good run in the competition, will protect its winning streak against Finland. Russia, on the other hand, will go for their seventh straight victory against World Championship silver medallists Cuba in Wroclaw.

Velasco’s past and present – Coach Julio Velasco will be at the helm of Argentina but will face a common force, his former team Iran. Argentina and Iran have met once before at the World Championship when Argentina won 3-0 in the first round in 1998, with a different coach. These teams have also met at the 2011 World Cup in which Iran won in the five-setter under Velasco’s guidance. In the current situation, Argentina can lose three World Championship matches in a row for the first time since 2002-2006, while Iran are on course to break their own successive World Championship victories of four wins in a row. 

USA gauge advantage on latest win-record with opponent – USA and Serbia have met four times at the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League, with the former winning three of these meetings. Serbia currently have won five successive World Championship matches for the first time since 2008. Serbia have only lost three sets in the five matches after losing the opening match against Poland. USA, on the other hand have won back-to-back matches at the World Championship, defeating Serbia’s opening match nemesis Poland in a 3-1 clash. 

France steer clear of losses since Italy defeat - France have won six of their last seven World Championship matches, losing only to Italy in the first round. They can equal their record of five successive World Championship wins that was set in 1970. France and Australia will have their third meeting at the World Championship. These two teams also met in the Final of the 2014 World League in Sydney, with Australia ending France’s good run in the tournament with a 3-2 victory. 

Poland and Italy come off from losses – Poland were defeated by USA 3-1, while Italy were beaten by Serbia in straight sets. Poland and Italy will meet for the second time in the World Championship. Their first meeting favoured the Polish squad who were down in the first two sets and recovered to win the match 3-2 in 2002. The last time Poland lost two in a row were their last two matches at the 2010 World Championship against Brazil and Bulgaria. Italy have already lost three in a row and can lose four in a row for the first time in 28 years, when they lost five consecutive matches in 1986. 

Brazil’s 100th win – Brazil need one more victory to reach their 100th victory at the World Championships and become the second nation to reach the century mark following Russia, including the Soviet Union. In their last five meetings, Brazil won the only time in the first 28 years, while their opponents China have won all four meetings. Their matches have been tough and have not been finished in straight sets. 

Canadian win-streak can help in 75th match – Canada will be playing their 75th World Championship match against Finland. Canada have won 30 of their previous 74 matches. Although though their winning ratio is not even half of the matches they have played in the tournament, they have already won five matches in a row and can win another for their best run in their team history. The last meeting between these two teams was in 1978, when Finland won in straight sets. 

Bulgaria reach 150th World Championship match – Bulgaria will play their 150th World Championship match, becoming the third country to reach this total following Brazil and Russia, including the Soviet Union. Bulgaria will face Germany for the seventh time and each team have three victories under their belts. Bulgaria have won the last two meetings in 2006 and 2010, and can become the first to win three in a row head-to-head. 

Cuba can hit the 250 set-victory mark – Cuba have won 248 sets at the World Championship and can become the eighth nation to win 250 sets. Cuba and Russia have met each other six times at the World Championship but all meetings were with the former Soviet Union. Cuba will face a tough squad as Russia have won all six matches this editions and are on a nine-match winning streak in the competition.

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