World League – Week 4.5

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I haven’t actually seen much of the last week or so of World League but there are a couple of things that jump out at me from the results.

  • Holland had another couple of good performances against Brazil without being able to win again.  They are collecting experience that could stand them in good stead in the next year or two.
  • Korea… keep losing
  • Serbia is still playing better than expectations and has the pole position to go to the finals with the last two matches against rivals Italy at home.  Italy have it tough, but they seem to be fighting hard (aside from losing to France last week), which is something they haven’t really done for the last couple of years.  Maybe they won’t roll over at the World Champs.
  • China… keep (mostly) losing.
  • The US are still struggling, losing a match at home to Finland and barely beating Egypt away and on top of everything have to contend with injuries to Suxho and Priddy.  The injury to Suxho could be a blessing in disguise if Hansen takes the opportunity to be the number 1 setter, but all in all, they can’t be happy.
  • Russia also can’t be happy, but only because they (and Bagnoli) are never happy.  They should be satisifed though that they will go into the last weekend already assured of a place in the finals.
  • Pool D is a really interesting group with Poland, Cuba and Germany all with a chance to win it.  Cuba are pretty much guaranteed two wins against Argentina (still disappointing) in the last two matches, so the results against Poland this weekend could be decisive.  Poland brought back Zagumny, Wlazly and Plinski last weekend against Argentina so they will probably be favourites.  Working out the probabilities is much too much work for me right now, so I will satisfied to just go out on a limb and say that two teams will come out of this group.

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