Russia and Venezuela clash in first ever World Cup encounter


· Russia and Venezuela meet for the first time at the World Cup.
· This is the 11th meeting between these nations in major competitions after eight World League meetings in 2001 and 2003 and two world championship matches in 1960 and 1990 (as Soviet Union).
· Russia have won all these 10 previous meetings (8 in straight sets), with Venezuela only winning two sets in total.

· Russia (including Soviet Union) will participate for the 11 time at the World Cup, equalling Brazil in second place for most participations. Only Japan have participated more often (all 13 editions).
· They have won the World Cup six times, including four as Soviet Union. No other nation has won the World Cup more than twice (Brazil).
· In their previous 10 participations, they have always finished in the top-3.
· No other nation has more than five top-3 finishes.
· They can win eight World League matches in a row for the first time since 2007.
· Russia have won 11 of their last 12 World Cup matches. In this run they only lost against CSV nation Brazil.
· In this year's World League, Russia lost their first 11 matches before winning their final match.

· Venezuela participate for the second time at the World Cup. They finished eighth in 2003, after winning four of their 11 matches.
· They won their last match in 2003 and can win successive World Cup matches for the first time.
· Venezuela have yet to play a five-setter at the World Cup.


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