Japan work for fourth win in first round


· Italy have won their last five World Cup matches against Japan after losing the first encounter in 1981.
· Four of Italy's wins were by a 3-0 scoreline, while Japan's win also came in straight sets.
· Italy have won 24 of their total 31 matches against Japan in major tournaments, including the last five.
· Japan have not won a set against Italy in their last three encounters.
· After Japan won their first two encounters 3-0 at the 1976 Olympic Games and 1981 World Cup, Italy have always won at least two sets in the last 29 meetings with Japan in major competitions.

· Italy can lose back-to-back World Cup matches for the first time since their last match in 2003 and their first in 2011.
· The last time they lost back-to-back within a World Cup tournament was in 1981, when they lost their first six matches.
· They can lose by 3-0 in succession for the first time ever at the World Cup.
· Italy have a W4-L4 record in five-set matches at the World Cup. They lost their last five-setter after a run of four wins.
· Ivan Zaytsev has been Italy's (joint) top scorer in all four matches at this World Cup, scoring 19 points against USA on Saturday.

· Japan have won three matches this tournament and they can win four at a single World Cup for the first time since winning seven in 1995.
· The last time they won three matches in a row at the World Cup was in 2003, when they won their first three against Egypt, China and Canada.
· They now have won six of their last seven competitive matches, at the World Cup and Asian Championship.


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