China challenged by Italy for ticket to final


Lausanne, Switzerland, August 4, 2017 - China host Italy Saturday in Nanjing in the second of the 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix semifinals, clashing for the third time this season after each scored a straight-set win in pool play last month. China have beaten Italy in four of their last six encounters and the European side (who won in the latest meeting of the two sides) have not scored back-to-back wins over China since taking four in a row in the World Grand Prix and FIVB World Cup from 2008 to 2011.

• These teams already met twice at the World Grand Prix this season. On 7 July, China won 3-1 in front of a home crowd in Kunshan. A week later, Italy exacted revenge in Macau (3-0).
• Italy have not won back-to-back major encounters with China since winning four in a row in World Grand Prix and World Cup from 2008 to 2011.
• China have won four of the last six encounters with Italy at world level.

• China defeated Brazil (3-0) and Netherlands (3-2) to finish atop Pool J1.
• Their two victories follows consecutive defeats with which they closed out the round robin stage.
• A victory for China will guarantee them their 10th top three finish at the World Grand Prix.
• China have won the World Grand Prix once (2003).

• Italy will finish the World Grand Prix in the top-4 for the first time since 2010, when they finished third.
• Italy have not reached the World Grand Prix final since 2005. Two second place finishes (2004 and 2005) are Italy's best achievement in the competition.
• Italy could win eight matches in a single World Grand Prix campaign for the first time since 2013.
• Against Serbia, Indre Sorokaite led her team on 22 points. None of her teammates had more than 11.


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