The matches of the final group stage will determine the other three semifinalists of the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 18, 2014 – France, Iran, Russia and hosts Poland will switch their performances to high gear as they aim for the three remaining semifinals berths in the final group stage matches of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship on Thursday.
France and Russia will certainly use their winning advantage at the World Championship over their Asian and European rivals, respectively, when they play in their respective matches in Pools G and H.
France are on a nine-match winning streak at the World Championship against teams from the Asian Volleyball Confederation, while Russia won their last four World Championship matches against European opponents.
France will face Asian powerhouse Iran in Pool G. In the previous matches, France won over Germany in straight sets, while Iran suffered a straight sets defeat in the hands of Germany. France and Iran will meet for the third time at the World Championship; and the former have a winning edge with two victories -3-0 in 1970 and 3-1 in this year’s first round.
Meanwhile, Russia are in need of a 3-0 or 3-1 victory to get in the semifinals, while neighbours Poland need another point to strengthen their claim to the semifinal spot. Russia have won their last four matches against other European contenders but their last meeting at the World Championship in 2006 with Poland favoured the hosts in a five-set match in the second round. This will be the 12th meeting between these teams at the World Championship with Russia winning on eight encounters and Poland with four match victories.
France to set record performance at World Championship
– France have won eight matches at the 2014 World Championship and need one more victory to improve their record of eight wins in 2006. France have only reached the semifinals once in their previous four participation. Iran missed on hitting the 50th set mark on wins with their straight sets loss to Germany and could not afford another loss to stay in contention for the semifinals.
Russia aim to sidestep straight-set losses – Russia can lose two matches in a row in straight sets for the very first time at the World Championship. Russia can also lose back-to-back matches for the first time since 2010. So a straight sets victory must be in mind to claim the semifinal ticket. Poland, on the other hand, intend to gain at least a point to secure the semifinals berth. Poland have reached the World Championship semifinals once before in 2006.