The absolute leaders of the 2018 CEV Men’s Volleyball Golden European League after three rounds with 9 points and a 3-0 record, Estonia, will meet Sweden on the road in Nyköping in the next round of Pool A. These two met in Rakvere, four days ago, and the team from the Baltics prevailed by a 3-1 (Robert Täht scored 16 points). Sweden is nailed to the bottom of the standings with no points and 0-3.
„We expect another difficult game. I believe that Sweden will be highly motivated for this match and we need to be more focused than in the last match,“ said Gheorghe Creţu who will lead Estonia as the head coach for the 100th time.
As for the last year’s bronze medalists Sweden, their coach Johan Isacsson needs to have an immediate reaction by his players tomorrow in order to stay in contention for the Final Four.
„We are looking forward to meeting Estonia again. We are basically neighbors, have met a lot in recent years and it is always tight and action-packed,“ Isacsson said.
Slovakia will face 2017 CEV European Championship semi-finalists Belgium in their capital Bratislava after an intense match these two played four days ago in Aalst (3-2 for Belgium – Igor Grobelny and Gert van Walle scored 17 points apiece). The „Red Dragons“ are the second-placed with 5 points, Slovakia is the third with 4 points.
Just like Estonia, Turkey also have a perfect record after three rounds but one point less on their account. Their next challenge will be the 2017 FIVB World League Group 2 winners Slovenia (the last-placed, no points) who compete in the 2018 Golden European League without several major players, like Tine Urnaut, Mitja Gasparini, Dejan Vinčić, and many more, by the decision of their coaching staff as their head coach Slobodan Kovač said in an interview to our website. As it was not enough, but one of Slovenia’s key players at the moment, Tonček Štern, suffered an injury in Round 2 and most probably won’t play against Turkey in Samsun.
Both sides have 5 points on their accounts.
As for the Czechs, the opinion that prevails among their players and coaching staff is that they are favorites in this match. In case of winning, they will move from the bottom of the standings (3 points, as much as third-placed Spain).
„The situation in the pool is tangled up. Every set can make the difference in the final count. On Wednesday against Portugal, we want to confirm the rising form and win, preferably with three points,“ said Michal Nekola, the head coach of the Czechs. Matyáš Démar, who skipped Round 3, will likely return to the Czech Republic squad.
Finland, the leaders of the pool, will play the home match against Spain, in Turku. The last time these two met was last year when the Scandinavian side defeated Spain by a 3-1 in the qualifier for the 2018 FIVB World Championship. Last Spain’s victory over Finland dates back to 2008 in the FIVB World League.
To see complete results, stats, and standings, visit our Golden European League 2018 / Male / Seniors page.