France hope to beat Italy to stay in medal contention


France's Antoine Brizard in action

Lausanne, Switzerland, September 15, 2017 – Having suffered their second defeat at the 2017 FIVB Men's World Grand Champions Cup in Japan, France need to get back on the winning track in order to keep a realistic shot at the medals. Their next opponents Italy are on a two-game winning streak and are in a good position to attack the title. France and Italy will meet on Saturday for what will be their first encounter in the history of the Grand Champions Cup.

• Italy and debutants France will clash for the first time at the World Grand Champions Cup.
• In these nations' most recent meeting at world level, on June 16, Italy came back from behind twice to beat France 3-2 in the 2017 World League.

• France have a 1-2 win-loss record so far on their World Grand Champions Cup debut.
• All three of their matches so far were decided in straight sets.
• Never have a team's all five matches at a single World Grand Champions Cup finished in straight sets.
• The last time France had a run of four matches that finished in straight sets was in the 2016 World League (one match) and 2016 Olympic Games (three matches).
• Thibault Rossard has a competition-high 62% efficiency as a receiver, recording 30 excellents.

• Italy can win three matches in a row at the World Grand Champions Cup for the first time since winning their first seven matches.
• The only time Italy won three competitive matches in a row in 2017 were their three successive victories at the European Championship last August.
• Filippo Lanza is this year's top scorer in the World Grand Champions Cup on 58 points. He has scored one point more than his teammate Luca Vettori (57).
• Daniele Mazzone and Matteo Piano have each scored 10 stuff blocks.


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