Yes, finally, it’s time for FINA World League again! The battle for Superfinal tournament is on again in Europe and we could definitely see some great water polo on Tuesday. There will be five games of Round 4 played tomorrow throughout the Old Continent.
Derby game, no dilemma, is the one that is going to be played in Athens, where Greece will host Croatia in Group B. Not just because of the qualities of both teams, this game is derby clash because if Croats win they will secure a place in Superfinal tournament.
Also, it means that if Greece wins this game, it will keep the hopes alive and place in Superfinal is still within a reach.The Croats have a perfect record in World League this season.
In the first game between these two teams, played in Rijeka in last November, hosts won easily 11:6. Traditionally, Croatia likes to play against Greece, because it won 10 out of 12 last meetings.
In other match of B group, France will host Netherlands in Strasbourg, but it is fair to say that this is a match of two teams that have no chances of advancing to the final stage of this competition. France is seeking a revenge because Netherlands won a first game 11:10.
The defending World League champions, Serbia will play against Romania in Bucharest. With a win, Dejan Savic’s time would make a decisive step towards winning the first place in Group A and a place at Superfinal tournament.
Coach Savic called just three players from the team which had won an Olympic gold last summer in Rio de Janeiro – Gojko Pijetlovic, Sava Randjelovic, and Milos Cuk. So, he will challenge Romanians with the young guns in Bucharest.
“We use every opportunity to get the younger players together and see what is their condition. After the match in Bucharest, we have two more games in this group. I believe that we did most of the work towards our goal, which is winning the first place in this phase.The boys have the opportunity to present themselves and after this match, we continue in a similar way”, said Savic before the game.
Serbia won all three games in World League this season, but the one against Slovakia was after the overtime. Romanians have one victory and two losses, including the one against Serbia in Belgrade (19:8) at the start of the competition.
In the other game of A group, Slovakia will against Germany in Stuttgart. Slovaks must win this game if they want to keep alive hopes of winning the first place. They have won two games in previous three rounds of WL, while Germans only have one win, against Romania after overtime. In the first match, this season Slovakia at home beat Germany 10:7.
Last game of the day is C group clash, local derby between Russia nad Georgia and it will be played in Kazan. Russian must win this game if they want to continue the chase for Italians who are group leaders. In the first match in Georgia, Russians had a tough challenge, but eventually won 8:7.
FINA Men’s World League 2016-2017
Tuesday, February 14:
Germany – Slovakia
Romania – Serbia
Greece – Croatia
France – Netherlands
Russia – Georgia
1. Serbia 3 – 8 pts
2. Slovakia 3 – 4
3. Romania 3 – 4
4. Germany 3 – 4
1.Croatia 3 – 9 pts
2. Greece 3 – 6
3. Netherlands 3 – 3
4. France 3 – 0
1. Italia 2 – 6 pts
2. Russia 2 – 3
3. Georgia 2 – 0
The fifth round of the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League 2017 will take place on March 14.