Leipzig, Germany, June 27, 2019 - Poland defeated Japan 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 27-25, 25-20) in their first match in Leipzig in 2019 men's FIVB Volleyball Nations League Pool 20 on Friday.
Poland - Japan (June 28, 2019)
· Poland and Japan will clash for the 32nd time in world level major competitions. Poland won 25 of the previous 31 meetings (W25-L6).
· Poland have only claimed more world level victories against Argentina (28) than against Japan (25).
· Poland have won 22 of their last 24 matches against Japan in world level major competitions, with the only exceptions in that run five-set defeats at the 2008 World League and the 2009 Grand Champions Cup.
· These teams most recently met on 9 June 2018, when Poland beat Japan in straight sets in the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League preliminary round. Damian Schulz, Bartosz Bednorz (both Poland) and Yuji Nishida (Japan) all scored a joint-match high 16 points.
· Poland have won eight and lost four matches in their first four weeks of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
· Poland (W8-L4) need to claim two more victories in the fifth week to match their total number of wins in the whole of last year's VNL preliminary round (W10-L5).
· Poland have won their last four VNL matches and can make it five in a row for the second time after a five-match winning streak at the start of the 2018 VNL.
· Aleksander Sliwka (102) and Bartosz Kwolek (102) are Poland's leading scorers in the 2019 VNL. In last year's VNL preliminary round, only Artur Szalpuk (108) managed to score more than 102 points for Poland.
· Sliwka scored 90 of his 102 points from spikes. Only Szalpuk (104) won more points from spikes for Poland in the whole of last year's VNL (including final round).
· Japan have won five and lost seven 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).
· Japan won two of their previous three VNL matches in Germany, five-set victories over both Argentina and Germany in June 2018.
· Only Amir Ghafour (182) and Sharone Vernon-Evans (159) have scored more points in the 2019 VNL than Yuki Ishikawa (157).
· Last year, Yuji Nishida led Japan's charge by totalling 187 points in the preliminary round.
· Only Russia's Egor Kliuka (20) has scored more aces in the 2019 VNL than Nishida (16).
Germany - Portugal (June 28, 2019)
· Portugal have won only three of their 10 matches against Germany (including as West and East Germany) in world lever major competitions (W3-L7).
· These teams most recently met at world level at the 2012 World League, where Germany beat Portugal four times, dropping only one set.
· Portugal's last world level victory over Germany came on 21 June 2003, when they claimed a five-set victory at the 2003 World League.
· Germany won two and lost 10 matches in their first four weeks of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League (W2-L10).
· Germany's 10 defeats in 2019 are already two more than they suffered in the 2018 VNL (W7-L8).
· Germany have lost 10 of their last 11 VNL matches and are winless in their last eight, since a five-set victory over Serbia on 7 June.
· Germany's eight-match losing run is currently the joint-longest running losing streak in the 2019 VNL. China have also lost their last eight fixtures in the competition.
· Simon Hirsch (145) 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 the second-best receiver in the 2019 VNL with an efficiency of 30.20%, trailing only Argentina's Santiago Danani (32.95%).
· Portugal have won only two of their 12 FIVB Volleyball Nations League matches so far, a 3-1 victory over Bulgaria on 2 June and a 3-0 victory over China on 14 June.
· Seven of Portugal's 10 defeats in the 2019 VNL came in straight sets. Only China (8) have suffered more defeats by a 3-0 scoreline in this year's competition than Portugal (7).
· Brothers Marco Ferreira (131) and Alexandre Ferreira (136) lead the charge for Portugal in terms of points in the 2019 VNL. Filip Cveticanin follows on 82 points.
· Filip Cveticanin leads Portugal in this year's VNL on 18 stuff blocks and an average of 0.44 per set.