|Luxembourg, December 21, 2017. The second round of action in the group stage of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Champions League – Men ends on Thursday with another three mouth-watering matches where the silver medal winners from the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship held last week in Poland, Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA, host Belgium’s reigning national champions Knack ROESELARE. The winners of that same competition and the CL holders, Zenit KAZAN take on BERLIN Recycling Volleys in a remake of the 2017 semi-final match that the Russian ‘armada’ won in three sets. Halkbank ANKARA and PAOK THESSALONIKI will lock horns in the Turkish capital vying for their first victory in Pool B after suffering setbacks in their previous matches with German and Finnish opposition, respectively.
Zenit KAZAN (RUS) vs. BERLIN Recycling Volleys (GER)
• Zenit KAZAN on Sunday won the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship for the first time and now hold five trophies at the same time. Earlier in 2017, the team coached by Vladimir Alekno had won the CEV Volleyball Champions League, the Russian national league, as well as the National Cup and Supercup of Russia.
Vladimir Alekno, head coach of Zenit KAZAN: “BERLIN Recycling Volleys almost retained their entire line-up from last season, including their main leaders Robert Kromm and Paul Carroll. This is a good, strong team. After winning the Club World Championship, I told the team that I would not try to come up with any words for their motivation. We have a high standard and we cannot drop below that. Everyone in the team understands this.”
Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA (ITA) vs. Knack ROESELARE (BEL)
• It is the first home game of the 2018 CEV Champions League for Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA, after their away defeat (2-3) in Perugia: the Italian team is searching for the first win against Belgium’s reigning national champions Knack ROESELARE.
Dragan Stankovic, team captain of Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA: “We want to start in the best way the adventure in the 2018 CEV Champions League. We must beware of Knack ROESELARE, since the Belgian team plays extremely good Volleyball, as we saw in their matchup against Fenerbahce. We are a little bit tired after the long tournament in Poland where we achieved a prestigious second place, but now it’s time to get fully focused on the Champions League.”
Halkbank ANKARA (TUR) vs. PAOK THESSALONIKI (GRE)
• Halkbank and PAOK will be vying for their first victory after losing their respective matches in the first round.
How to follow the matches...
Watch them live: http://cev.laola1.tv/
Live score, statistics, reports and photos: all available on www.cev.lu
Social Media: Follow via the official event hashtag (#CLVolleyM) with the most regular updates coming on our competition Twitter account @CEVolleyballCL