Bulgaria need first win in Balkan derby over Serbia in 11 years


Lausanne, Switzerland, June 17, 2017 - The Balkan derby between Bulgaria and Serbia opens Saturday play in Cordoba. Defending champions Serbia secured their ticket to the Final Six in Curitiba after edging Argentina Friday to go 6-1. Bulgaria, at 4-3 after losing to Brazil on Friday can still qualify, but they'd need to beat their arch rivals for the first time in 11 years.

• Bulgaria and Serbia (including Serbia and Montenegro) have faced each other 13 times in the World League, with Serbia winning nine and Bulgaria four.
• The last time Bulgaria won was in 2006, when they defeated Serbia in straight sets in the World League group stage.
• Serbia have won the last six World League encounters between these teams, only suffering three lost sets in those six matches.

• Bulgaria have won three and lost four of their seven World League matches this season.
• This is a big improvement over last season, when then lost their first eight matches in Group 1.
• In their first match of this weekend of play, Brazil proved too strong in straight sets. The last time they lost consecutive World League matches in three sets was in June 2014, when they lost twice against today's opponents Serbia.
• Bulgaria could win their 150th World League match - they have 149 wins and 121 defeats thus far.
• Jani Jeliazkov (11 points) was the only Bulgarian player to reach double figures against Brazil on Friday. 10 different Bulgarians scored at least one of Bulgaria’s 56 total points in that match.

• Serbia pulled off a 3-2 win against hosts Argentina on Friday, improving their 2017 World League record to six wins to one defeat and qualifying for the Final Round in Group 1.
• In their winning campaign of last year, Serbia also started off with six wins and one defeat. They lost their eighth encounter in straight sets against Argentina.
• Serbia could win six consecutive World League matches for the first time since their start of six straight victories in 2016.
• In the last eight World League matches involving Serbia, the team winning the first set also won the match. Serbia won seven times in these eight matchups, Belgium took the other.
• Against Argentina, five Serbs reached double figures in scoring, with Drazen Luburic evolving as top scorer with 19 points.


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