Leipzig, Germany, June 29, 2019 - 2019 FIVB Men's Volleyball Nations League Pool 20 in Leipzig started with a victory for world champions Poland against Germany on Saturday.
Germany - Poland (June 29, 2019)
- Poland have won nine of their previous 16 encounters at world level with opponents representing Germany.
- World level major competitions are: FIVB Volleyball Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
- Their last major encounter was won 3-1 by visiting Germany, in the 2018 Volleyball Nations League in Lódz, Poland.
- Before that, they met in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Championship. Poland won 3-1 and eventually went on to win their second world title.
- Germany have won three and lost 10 matches in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
- Germany's 10 defeats in 2019 are already two more than they suffered in the 2018 VNL (W7-L8).
- Germany come off a 3-1 win over Portugal and could win successive VNL matches for the first time in 2019. They had a run of two and a run of three wins in the 2018 VNL.
- Simon Hirsch (165) is Germany's leading scorer in the 2019 VNL. Last year, Hirsch scored 183 points in the preliminary round, at least 33 more than any of his teammates.
- Julian Zenger is among the best receivers in the 2019 VNL with an efficiency of 25.83%.
- Poland have won nine and lost four matches in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
- Poland (9 wins) are one shy of their total number of wins in the preliminary round in the 2018 VNL (10).
- Poland are one of three nations without a straight-set defeat in the 2019 VNL, alongside France and Brazil.
- Poland could win six successive world level matches for the first time since the 2015 World Cup (10 in a row).
- Aleksander Sliwka (115) is Poland's leading scorer in the 2019 VNL. He has already surpassed Poland's top scorer in last year's VNL preliminary round, Artur Szalpuk (108).
Portugal - Japan (June 29, 2019)
- Japan have a W6-L5 record against Portugal at major world level competitions. All of their previous encounters came in the World League.
- Portugal won their most recent world level meeting against Japan, 3-2 at the 2017 World League.
- Portugal have only recorded more world level victories against Finland (6) than against Japan (5).
- Portugal have won only two of their 13 FIVB Volleyball Nations League matches, a 3-1 victory over Bulgaria on 2 June and a 3-0 victory over China on 14 June.
- Portugal could lose 12 matches at a single world level major tournament for the second time after the 2012 World League (12).
- Portugal could lose seven successive matches in a single world level competition for the first time since the 2015 World League, where they lost their first seven.
- Brothers Alexandre Ferreira (149) and Marco Ferreira (143) lead the charge for Portugal in terms of points in the 2019 VNL.
- Filip Cveticanin is among the best blockers in this year's VNL with 21 stuff blocks and an average of 0.47 per set.
- Japan have won five and lost eight Volleyball Nations League matches in 2019. With their five wins, Japan are one shy of their total number of victories in the 2018 VNL (W6-L9).
- Yuji Nishida (179) and Yuki Ishikawa (176) are among the best scorers in the 2019 VNL.
- Last year, Nishida led Japan's charge by totalling 187 points in the preliminary round.
- Nishida (26 points) and Ishikawa (19) led their team in scoring in the match against Poland on Friday. No other Japanese player had more than seven points.
- Nishidia is among the best servers in the competition with 16 aces and a 0.32 average per set.