France hope to widen slim lead over Russia


Lausanne, Switzerland, June 8, 2017 - Reigning European champions France host Russia Friday in Pau for the 12th time in World Leagueee history, hoping to widen their slim lead of 6-5 in the series.

• France and Russia have met in the World League 11 times. France just hold the upper hand: six wins to five.
• France won their last two matches against Russia, 3-0 in 2016 and 3-1 last weekend.
• France can become the first team to win this fixture three times in a row.
• In their meeting last weekend France's Stephen Boyer was the top scorer with 18 points. For Russia Maxim Zhigalov scored a team-high 17 points.

• France dropped only one set in their opening three matches of the 2017 World League season last weekend. That was in their 3-1 victory over forthcoming opponents Russia.
• They beat Bulgaria and Argentina both in straight sets.
• France won their last four World League matches, since the 3-1 loss to Brazil in last season's semifinal.
• After last weekend France's Julien Lyneel was the best spiker (65.96% success rate) and the best server (0.70 average per set) in Group 1.

• Russia started their 2017 World League campaign with a 3-0 win over Argentina before losing to France (3-1) and Bulgaria (3-2).
• They can lose three World League matches in a row for the first time since a 12-match losing run from 2014-2015.
• This will be Russia's 399th World League match (W268-L130). They will play their 400th against United States on Saturday.
• After last weekend Russia's Denis Biriukov and Ilia Vlasov are the best blockers in Group 1, with an average of 0.92 by set.


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