USA Can Clinch Podium Spot With Win Against Italy. WWGC Day 5 Preview

2017 WORLD GRAND CHAMPIONS CUP

The WGCC finally reaches its final day. The men’s tournament was much more heated than its women’s counterpart, with 4 teams still in gold medal contention ahead of the last day of play, although as Brazil will play the Japan, the tournament’s punching bag, it is highly unlike they’ll let of the title. For a full breakdown of final day scenarios, read our analysis here. Below, you’ll find FIVB’s preview for the games. Of course, you’ll be able to watch all of them live here on Volleymob.

Team USA x Italy

Both Italy and USA still have an illusory shot at the gold medal. The winner of their match is at least guaranteed a podium spot. In these nations’ most recent meeting at world level, on June 9, USA beat Italy 3-0 in the 2017 World League. Italy’s last competitive win over USA came at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, when they won 3-2 in the semifinals.

USA has won twice and lost twice in this Grand Champions Cup. Both victories came in straight sets while both defeats came in five sets. Matthew Anderson is USA’s top scorer with 74 points. After they lost their first Grand Champions Cup match against Iran, Italy has now won each of their last three matches in the tournament. They are one of three teams to have won three of their four matches at this Grand Champions Cup, alongside Brazil and Iran. Luca Vettori was top scorer during each of Italy’s three victories – he scored only eight points in their defeat against Iran.

Brazil x Japan

The current leaders in the 2017 FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup standings Brazil face winless Japan in their last match of the tournament on Sunday. A three-point victory over the host team would secure the title for the defending champs. Brazil have won each of their last 21 matches in major competitions against Japan, since the five-set defeat in the 1993 World League.

Japan have lost each of their last 11 Grand Champions Cup matches, including all four at the 2017 edition. They can become the first team to lose all five matches at multiple Grand Champions Cup tournaments as they also did so in 2013. Brazil has won five of the seven Grand Champions Cup trophies, including the last four, and finished runners-up on the other two occasions (1993 and 2001). Brazil could win three consecutive Grand Champions Cup matches for the first time since a record run of 15 victories between 2001 and 2013. Brazil has claimed at least two sets in each of their 34 Grand Champions Cup matches as their only four defeats came in five-setters. Wallace Souza leads Brazil in scoring with 65 points.

Iran x France

Iran is one victory away from their first ever medals in the FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup. In their last match of the 2017 edition, the Asian squad will face France and a win would cement them on the podium. In these teams’ most recent meeting, on May 31, 2016, France beat Iran in straight sets in an Olympic qualifier. France has won all their previous five competitive matches against Iran at world level.

France has lost three of their four Grand Champions Cup matches, with the exception of the 3-0 win over Japan in their second match. The last time France lost three consecutive matches at a world-level tournament was in the 2013 World League, where they lost their first four of the tournament. Iran is one of three teams to have won three Grand Champions Cup matches in 2017, together with Brazil and Italy. They are ranked third with seven points, coming into the final match day, trailing Brazil and Italy with nine points each. They have never reached the podium in the tournament, finishing fifth in 2009 and fourth in 2013. Iran has lost the first set in each of their last three Grand Champions Cup matches, turning it around in two of those fixtures.

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