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Russia and Italy battle for EuroVolley crown

Lorenzo Gahol 29 Sep 2013
The Italians are looking forward to winning their seventh EuroVolley crown (credit:FIVB)

Either Russia or Italy will be crowned as the champions of this year's CEV European Championship.

Copenhagen's Parken Stadium is the battleground of this epic encounter.

Russia, the reigning Olympic and World League champions, reached the final of this competition for the first time since 2007 after beating defending champion Serbia 25-19 24-26 25-23 25-15 yesterday.

The high-scoring Nikolay Pavlov lived up to his reputation as he led the Russians with 19 points.

Dmitry Muserskiy backed him up with 17 points while Evgeney Sivozhelez and Nikolay Apalikov had 14 and 12, respectively.

"I am very glad that we played in this special stadium with a nice atmosphere and that we can decide ourselves if we are crowned champions. It was a good experience, thanks to the supporters and spectators and even though it was unusual to play at a football stadium it was a good match," Russia coach Andrey Voronkov said.

Italy, meanwhile, defeated Bulgaria 19–25 25–22 25–15 25–22 in the other semifinal.

Luca Vettori once again showcased his scoring prowess as he tallied a match-high 21 points.

Emanuel Birarelli added 15 points while Ivan Zaytsev chipped in 10.

"We are not the favorites and we play against a huge team. Russia has everything to win and we have to know that we have to resist, resist and resist again and I think we are ready to give it a try," Italy head coach Mauro Berruto said.

Russia has won this tournament 12 times as part of the old Soviet Union while Italy is a six-time champion in this competition.

The two sides played each other in the final of the EuroVolley in 1991, 1999 and 2005. The Soviet Union won their first meeting but the Italians triumphed in the next two. 

Russia is still seeking its first European crown after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Italians, meanwhile, is aiming for another trophy after back-to-back triumphs in 2003 and 2005.

To watch and bet on Russia v Italy live, simply do the following: 

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  3. Select the Russia v Italy match

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Russia and Italy battle for EuroVolley crown

Either Russia or Italy will be crowned as the champions of this year's CEV European Championship.

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