Australia, Italy in tight clash to end losing streaks



• They have met once before at the World Championship. In 1982, Italy recorded a fairly lopsided victory over Australia (15-1, 15-1, 15-8). 
• Italy have won all of their nine encounters with Australia in major competitions and on seven occasions, Australia failed to win a single set. 
• They met in the World League earlier this year. On 18 July, Italy coasted to a 3-0 victory in the Final Round before a home crowd in Florence. 


• Australia have lost six of their last seven, including each of their Pool E matches. 
• Whatever happens, Australia are guaranteed their best finish in the competition. They had never finished higher than 17th coming in. 
• Their two victories in this tournament are also already a team record at a single world championships. 


• Italy have lost their last five matches, which is their longest losing streak at the World Championship when they also lost five. 
• The last time Italy lost more than five matches in a row in this competition was from 1966 to 1970 when they were defeated in nine straight. 
• Unlike at the previous six world championships, Italy can no longer finish in the top six. The 1986 World Championship was the last in which Italy finished lower than sixth (11th).


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