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31/05/2019 21:00
Turkey, Oranjes and Belarus vie for third straight victory in Golden #EuroLeagueM
CEV Volleyball European Golden League 2019

Luxembourg, May 31, 2019. Turkey, the Netherlands and Belarus will be chasing a third straight victory this weekend to cement their leadership in the respective pools as the CEV Volleyball European Golden League 2019 resumes with the third round of action. These three teams have an impeccable record of two wins in as many matches this far and they will be trying to extend their positive streak to make a step forward in their quest for a spot in the Final Four due to take place in Tallinn, Estonia, on June 21-22, 2019. Fans from across the globe can follow all of the action through the CEV’s very own OTT platform EuroVolleyTV.

Pool A

Slovakia vs. Turkey

•    Turkey have two victories and lead the group, while Slovakia sit in second place after beating Latvia in Riga last Wednesday.
•    Slovakia have played Turkey 26 times, with the head-to-head standing at 13 wins apiece.
•    Before the match, there will be a short exhibition game in Nitra, and many Slovak famous players will be taking part - Richard Nemec, Emanuel Kohút, Marek Kardoš and EuroVolley Women Ambassador Adriana Marčeková.

Andrej Kravárik, head coach of Slovakia: “We are looking forward to playing the first game at home, Turkey is a strong opponent. There is not much time for regeneration, but the guys are physically well prepared and I believe that our performance will be at least at the level of the games we played in Belgium and Latvia.”

Erkan Togan, assistant coach of Turkey: “We would like to finish the pool phase in first place and go to the Final Four. We started really well; we won at home and one away game as well. A victory in Nitra would be a big step for us. The European Golden League is an important part of the preparation for the EuroVolley in September. It will not be easy in Slovakia, and we know this. We will try our best; we would like to win the game.”

Latvia vs. Belgium

•    Last time Latvia played against Belgium was two years ago in a European qualifier for the 2018 World Championship, with Belgium winning 3-0.
•    Belgium have taken only two points from their two matches this far, whilst Latvia have one from their 2-3 home loss to Slovakia.
•    Latvia have one of the youngest teams of the tournament and the hosts will try to get their first win in the competition.

Avo Keel, head coach of Latvia: “I am satisfied with the game quality of our team in the last two matches, maybe except for the service errors, and I hope that we will keep the same pace. People often say that playing at home helps and I hope that tomorrow this will help us go for a first win!”

Brecht Van Kerckhove, head coach of Belgium: “We are playing this competition with a younger team and many of them are making their debut with the senior national team. We had a stressful game with Slovakia, which we were happy to win, but Turkey were stronger. I see Latvia, Slovakia and us as teams playing at the same level and tomorrow we will have a nice game where we will have to make every effort to win.”

Pool B

Estonia vs. The Netherlands

•    The first home match of the Golden League season for Estonia takes place in Tartu and the organisers expect a full house.
•    Team Estonia are playing the group stage with some new faces and rising stars as six starting players (Kert Toobal, Oliver Venno, Renee Teppan, Robert Täht, Ardo Kreek and Rait Rikberg) have joined the team this Friday and are not playing yet.
•    Last time these teams played against each other was in 2017 with some friendly matches and the Netherlands won three times out of three games.

Gheorghe Crețu, head coach of Estonia. “The Netherlands are the strongest opponent so far in the tournament. They have almost all their stars playing at this stage. They risk a lot in service, so we need to be more aggressive as well. All together, we are trying to improve in all aspects of the game as we are playing with some new faces right now. We hope to get the first win in front of the home crowd.”

Croatia vs. Spain

•    Last year Croatia lost two friendly matches to Spain.
•    Croatia have one victory and one loss in the European Golden League this far.
•    Croatia go for a second straight victory before the home fans and want to confirm that they deserve to be a part of the Golden League after taking gold from last year’s Silver competition.

Pool C

Belarus vs. Ukraine

•    Volodymyr Tevkun of Ukraine is a Belarusian national champion with Shakhtior SOLIGORSK. This is where some of the players of Belarus played this season as well under the guidance of national team head coach Viktar Beksha.
•    This will be the last home game for Team Belarus.
•    Belarus top the charts in Pool C with two wins in as many matches. Ukraine, on the other hand, lost to Czech Republic on Wednesday after leading 2-0.

Viktar Beksha, head coach of Belarus: “Ukraine are a good team, with many good and experienced players. However, we can boast the same assets as well; therefore, I think there will be a good game.”

Czech Republic vs. Finland

•    Finland are still waiting for their first points in the European Golden League 2019.
•    The Czech Republic managed to turn Wednesday’s match against Ukraine coming from behind to win 3-2 pushed by a great atmosphere.
•    Both teams were in the same pool last year too and Finland beat the Czech national team twice.