That’s why Poland have an advantage in matches against the rivals from Pool B – Italy, Belgium, Slovenia, Portugal and Ukraine.
Let’s start from the favorite in Pool B – Italy. Having Paola Egonu in a team makes you always a favorite and this time Italy wants to reach the top spot in this group so they can get the easiest rival in the next stage and prepare for the important battles as of the quarterfinals. They didn’t win a medal since 2009, when they won the gold medal.
Poland want to take advantage since they will be playing in front of a home crowd. They hope that Malwina Smarzek will be in shape during this tournament and that will increase chances of Poland to reach the last stage of the championship.
However, Belgium shouldn’t be underestimated. They already met Italy twice in 2019. Belgium defeated Italy 3-2 in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League but suffered a 3-0 defeat against them in the world Olympic qualification tournament on 3 August. They also lost 3-1 to Poland in the 2019 VNL.
Ukraine compete for the eighth time at the European Championship. Their best result is a third place in their first appearance in 1993.
Slovenia appear at the European Championship for the second time after 2015, when they finished in 16th place.
Portugal will make their debut at the European Championship. The last teams to win their first match on their debut at a European Championship were Croatia, Belarus and Ukraine, all in 1993.
Schedule of Pool B, round 1:
Belgium – Ukraine 13:30 CET (Friday, 23 August)
Italy – Portugal 17:30 CET (Friday, 23 August)
Poland – Slovenia 20:30 CET (Friday, 23 August)
Check out also the preview of Pool A.
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