The match in Lodz will be a real battle of two Serbian opposites. Aleksandar Atanasijevic seems destined to follow in the footsteps of his great compatriot, Ivan Miljkovic. The PGE Skra opposite, born in 1991, is 12 years younger but starred last week in the FIVB Club World Championship, winning the award for the best scorer as PGE Skra claimed bronze there in Qatar.
“We watched this tournament and are impressed by PGE Skra. They were very close to the final, played extremely well. But we are still going to beat this great Polish team especially since the battle in Lodz will be very important for us. Not only because it is the first one, which is always crucial, but because both teams would like to challenge Dinamo MOSCOW in this group. Every single win will be vital” states Dariusz Stanicki. The Polish technical manager of Fenerbahce Grundig stressed that both teams have good chances to qualify for the Playoffs 12; however, Pool E looks like the toughest in the prelims of this year’s Champions League: “Last season we were in a similar situation, and we did not manage to proceed. This year I hope we will do better. We came to Lodz with all of our best players even though Novica Bjelica did not play recently while Ivan Miljkovic was slightly injured”.
Both opposites played for some time together in the national team. This year Miljkovic finished his international career and Atanasijevic took his place and number in the Serbian line-up. “Aleks still has a lot to learn but he may become one of the best players in the world in this position. He is in great form. On Wednesday he may do better than Ivan” stated PGE Skra captain Mariusz Wlazly while attending a special press conference in front of this match. “We cannot wait for the start of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League. It is always a great feeling to participate in this tournament and play versus great teams like Fenerbahce. It is going to be a great battle in front of 11’000 fans” added Wlazly who this season is playing as outside hitter.
Fenerbahce Grundig also has great wingers such as Leonel Marshall and Matej Cernic. They will be ready to play for the team mentored by Daniele Bagnoli. “It is the most difficult group, so every game and point is crucial” singles out home mentor Jacek Nawrocki. The coach of PGE Skra BELCHATOW stresses: “We changed 4 players in the starting line-up so we are still in need of practice. However, we did well in Qatar and want to confirm our aspirations. It will not be easy as we will face a great team but I believe in my players and in the tremendous work we have been doing”.
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