USA and Brazil To Duel Title Hopes Today in the WGCC. Day 4 Preview.

  0 Liam Smith | September 15th, 2017 | Asian Volleyball, Brazilian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Volleyball, News, NORCECA volleyball, South American Volleyball, U.S. Men's National Team


After three competition days at the 2017 FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup in Japan, USA and Brazil lead the standings with two wins and seven points each. The eventual winner of this match will get a head start towards the title before the crucial matches on Sunday. This will be the 100th match in the history of the Men’s World Grand Champions Cup.

If the USA has any title hopes, it must win today’s game. Brazil’s last game is against Japan, a sure win, so a Brazilian triumph against Team USA will most surely be a title clincher. If Team USA wins, it can become the second team, after Brazil, to have won all five global tournaments – Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World Grand Champions Cup and World League. But the road won’t be easy, as USA is coming from four straight losses to Brazil in the USAV Cup.

Matthew Anderson is his team’s top scorer on 47 points, including nine aces. Brazil bounced back from their defeat against Italy with a straight-set win over Iran. The Brazilians have never lost more than one match at a single edition of the World Grand Champions Cup. Ricardo Lucarelli  (37) leads Brazil in spikes at this year’s tournament.

Iran x Japan

The hosts of the 2017 FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup are still looking for their first victory in the tournament. To rebound from this losing streak, Japan will be looking to defeat Iran in an all-Asian clash on Saturday. In these teams’ most recent meeting at world level, on June 1, 2016, Iran beat Japan 3-1 in a Olympic qualifier.

On the other hand, Iran has a clear chance at the title, which would be groundbreaking for the squad. A 3-0 victory today will greatly boost its hopes, as they face a star depleted France in their last game.

France x Italy

Having suffered their second defeat at the 2017 FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup, France needs to get back on the winning track in order to keep a realistic shot at the medals. Their next opponents Italy are on a two-game winning streak and are in a good position to attack the title. In these nations’ most recent meeting at world level, on June 16, Italy came back from behind twice to beat France 3-2 in the 2017 World League.

France has a 1-2 win-loss record so far on their World Grand Champions Cup debut. All three of their matches so far were decided in straight sets. France’s Thibault Rossard has a competition-high 62% efficiency as a receiver. Italy’s Filippo Lanza is this year’s top scorer in the World Grand Champions Cup on 58 points, having scored one point more than his teammate Luca Vettori (57). Daniele Mazzone and Matteo Piano have each scored 10 stuff blocks.

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