Cuiaba, Brazil, June 21, 2019 - Pool hosts Brazil defeated Bulgaria on the first day of action in Cuiaba on Friday in 2019 men's FIVB Volleyball Nations League Pool 16.
Germany - Russia (June 21, 2019)
· Germany (including East Germany and West Germany) have won only five of their 28 encounters with Russia (including CIS and Soviet Union) in world level major competitions.
· World level major competitions are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
· Last year, these teams met in the preliminary round of the Nations League, with Russia winning in straight-sets.
· The last time Germany beat Russia in a world level major tournament was in the 2013 World League (3-2).
· Russia have won at least one set in all 28 world level major competition matches against Germany.
· In 2017, these teams played each other in the European Championship final with Russia claming the title after winning in five sets.
· Germany have lost seven of their nine 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League matches. At the 2018 VNL, Germany lost eight of their 15 matches.
· Germany have lost five successive VNL matches for the first time.
· The last time Germany lost six consecutive matches in world level major competitions was in 2003, a run of six defeats in the World League.
· Jan Zimmerman is among the best setters in the competition with an average of 4.19 per set.
· Julian Zenger is the best receiver in the competition with an efficiency of 36.36%.
· Russia lost their last FIVB Volleyball Nations League match 3-0 to Iran, their third straight-sets defeat in the VNL.
· That loss against Iran ended a seven-match winning run. They could now lose back-to-back VNL matches for the first time.
· Egor Kliuka has already scored 20 aces, at least seven more than any other player in the competition this year.
· Kliuka is the best server in the tournament with an average of 0.61 per set.
· In total, Kliuka has scored 116 points, making him Russia's top scorer in the tournament.
Brazil - Bulgaria (June 21, 2019)
· Brazil have a W31-L15 record against Bulgaria in world level major competitions.
· World level major competitions are: Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Volleyball Nations League and Grand Champions Cup.
· Their most recent world level meeting was at last year's FIVB Volleyball Nations League, when Bulgaria beat Brazil 3-2 on 17 June 2018.
· Bulgaria could now win successive world level matches against Brazil for only the second time, after they won their very first six matches versus the South Americans (1962-1974).
· Brazil have won eight of their nine 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League matches, with the only exception in this run their 3-2 defeat to Serbia on 9 June.
· Last year, Brazil also started with eight wins from their first nine matches before suffering a three-match losing streak against Canada, France and forthcoming opponents Bulgaria.
· Brazil could win three successive VNL matches in straight-sets for the second time. They previously did this in 2018 against Germany, Republic of Korea and Japan.
· Ricarado Lucarelli Souza is the tournament's best attacker with a success rate of 57.93%. Last year, only Russia's Dmitriy Muserskiy (65.47%) managed a higher success rate in the preliminary round.
· Bulgaria could beat Brazil for the second time in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
· Currently, Canada are the only opponents Bulgaria have beaten twice in the tournament.
· Bulgaria lost their last two VNL matches, a 3-2 defeat against Japan on 15 June and a 3-1 defeat to Italy on 16 June.
· Nikolay Uchikov is Bulgaria's top scorer this VNL season on 92 points. Last year, he amassed a team-high total of 169 points in the preliminary round.