The Centro de Desportos e Congressos de Matosinhos is all set for the start of the 2015 FIVB Volleyball World League matches in Pool E between Portugal and Netherlands
Porto, Portugal, May 14, 2015 – The stage is set at the Centro de Desportos e Congressos de Matosinhos, where the home team and the Netherlands will face in the opening weekend of the FIVB Volleyball World League in Pool E, with their thoughts focused on a common goal – victory.
Portugal and the Netherlands are both rebuilding their teams. The Dutch recently changed their coach. Edwin Benne replaced Gido Vermeulen, who has been at the helm since 2011.
The Portuguese, on the other hand, are inserting new blood, which coach Hugo Silva has been harnessing since last year, without losing grip of their core players Joao Jose, Valdir Sequeira, Hugo Gaspar and Andre Lopes, who were the main proponents in their fifth place finish in the 2005 World League.
Both teams are also continuing to fight for a place in the final phase of the European Championship, with Portugal facing Slovenia on May 24 and 31, while the Netherlands will be playing Spain on May 23 and 31.
There is also a balance in the matches played between the two teams. In their last eight matches, five ended with a slim advantage, with both teams splitting the number of victories in the four matches played in last year’s edition of the World League.
On the club level, players Alexandre Ferreira of Ziraat Bankasi and Niels Klapwijk will renew their Turkish League rivalry, while Miguel Rodrigues of Piacenza and Jeroen Rauwedink of Andreoli Latin will recommence their Italian League rivalry.
The strength and height of the Dutch are apparent, towering with an average height of above 200cm, but the spirit and tenacity of the Portuguese will have fighting edge against them.