Hello everyone! In this article, we will ponder over the Volleyball Champions League, specifically taking a closer look at Group D, where in Round 5, Spanish Guaguas and Polish Jastrzębski Węgiel are yet to face each other.
In the Spanish Superliga, the team of Sergio Camarero has seen considerable success from last season onwards, when "Guaguas" clinched the gold medals in their championship. This achievement earned them a ticket to the 2023/2024 Champions League qualification, where the Spaniards triumphed with assurance, defeating even the Serbian Partizan.
The national championship doesn’t hinder Guaguas from giving their all in the European group, where it was clear from the start that there’s Jastrzębski Węgiel and then everyone else. In the face of the Poles, Sergio Camarero's actors had nothing to catch, but Lüneburg and České Budějovice required them to try harder. In the 2nd round of the Champions League group stage, the Guaguas lost to the Germans on their home turf, but round 4 saw the Spaniards taking their revenge. Moreover, Sergio Camarero’s volleyball players were a bit lucky that in the clash of České Budějovice and Lüneburg in the previous round, the team from Germany was defeated; otherwise, Guaguas would have occupied third place and their path to the playoffs would have been quite complicated.
Regarding their lineup, the commendable Miguel de Amo serves well, and Nico Bruno performs superbly, who shone in Germany against Lüneburg.
Jastrzębski Węgiel should concern itself with its 1st place in the group, so it's highly unlikely that Guaguas will manage a win, but I really want to see quality volleyball from the Spaniards, even if it’s just in one set.
For Marcelo Mendes's team, the end of the last year and the beginning of this one bore a rather difficult schedule. The match against Guaguas in the Champions League will be the third away game in a row, two of which were in the PlusLiga, and the adversary teams in these away confrontations were not easy opponents: Skra Belchatow and Kędzierzyn-Koźle. The essential part is that Mendes's men won two consecutive away matches and rose to first place in the league table.
In the Champions League group, Jastrzębski Węgiel hasn’t tasted defeat, and there’s virtually no one to concede to, as all teams are much weaker. The most concessions Mendes's volleyball players ever made was to let their opponents win a set, specifically the starting set, after which, Jastrzębski Węgiel played with greater zeal and achieved logical victories.
The Polish club's squad possesses higher skills compared to Guaguas, however, the hectic schedule might have exhausted the key players who gave their utmost in the PlusLiga clashes. Let’s see what Jastrzębski Węgiel offers, striving to advance to the playoffs from the 1st position in the group.
In Round 1, Jastrzębski Węgiel easily overpowered the Spanish Guaguas on their home turf with a score of 3:0 in sets.
I believe that the Spaniards will clinch one set – they're likely to play more actively against the Poles on the block and won’t hesitate to perform power serves. I wager on the handicap Guaguas for 2,5 sets.