It’s just two days before eight squads compete in the Montreux Masters 2019. This tournament serves as the opening of the international volleyball season and a possible prelude for the Volleyball Nations League.
Here’s how we see the competition unfolding:
China emerges on top of Pool A
Germany and Poland will use their power in the wings against the Chinese. But they will have a hard time countering China’s balance in every position. The defending Olympic champions can still defeat the two European squads even if Zhu Ting will be marked.
China versus Japan would be interesting. The rematch of last year’s Asian Games semifinal features teams that can mirror each other in style and tempo. But while Japan has more agile players, the Chinese will exploit their height advantage to sweep Pool A.
Meanwhile, the Japanese will utilize their quickness against Poland and Germany. But their floor defense should be solid too to absorb the hard spikes from the two teams. Japan will have enough against Germany but they could falter against Poland.
Italy tops Pool B
The defending champions might not bring the same squad this year. However, they will not have a hard time defeating Thailand and Switzerland. But Turkey will give them a challenge before clinching the victory.
Thailand is sending the best team possible but they will come up short against the Italians and the Turks. However, they will score a win against the hosts. This is how the standings for Pool B will look like:
Semifinals and classification phase
The Germans will be locked in a tough battle against the Swiss but salvages the victory for seventh place. Sadly, the hosts will finish another Montreux Masters in last place.
Who will win the gold medal in the Montreux Masters 2019? Well, we guess you will just have to tune in to find out!