We're heading over to the south-west of Poland, where the volleyball club Stal Nysa resides. This club is on the brink of joining the contenders for the Challenge Cup, but it's clear that team coach, Daniel Pliński, has his sights set on gaining more significant European cup tickets. In the 20th round, the southwestern team is set to play a home game against Norwid Częstochowa, a team that sits in the lower part of the PlusLiga table and hardly hopes to be among the championship's main leaders.
The club Stal Nysa has grown used to series of losses - the southwestern Polish team has been beaten only by strong opponents. The start of the year was a repeat of the season's start, with Pliński's players failing important matches, such as losing in class matches against Jastrzębski Węgiel or the impressive Zawiercie. In the last round, Stal Nysa won against Olsztyn, having mirrored the 1st round 3:2 defeat by Pliński's volleyball players. It was a nerve-wracking match, but ultimately, the nuances decided the outcome.
We've noted that Daniel Pliński's player roster is not the most grandiose. Zuheir El Graoui stands out - a master "beach" player who is also effective in standard volleyball, as evidenced by his individual statistics. Timofey Zhukovsky is often praised, and in my opinion, he's a strong defender and a smart playmaker.
Stal Nysa is aiming to convincingly act as the favourite in order not to fall from the 8th spot in the table; even better if further advancement is possible. Against Norwid Częstochowa, victory is necessary, especially since Daniel Pliński's players are significantly stronger.
The southern Polish club often struggles in games where there's a need for victories. It's hardly surprising that "Norwid Częstochowa" is in its position in the PlusLiga table, but the team is quite good despite what the media may write.
At the start of the new year, Leszek Gudzjak's volleyball players won only one game against "Gdansk," and no one bet on "Norwid Częstochowa," but they convincingly won by the score of 3:1. Before that, they had beaten "Luk Lubin" who lead the pack; then came the losses. In three of the last four matches of the southern Polish club, logical failures were observed, with "Project Warsaw", "Zawiercie" and "Jastrzębski Węgiel" winning as favourites. The match against "Slepsk Suwalki," however, was a disaster, with "Norwid Częstochowa" only starting to play as necessary in the third set.
Leszek Gudzjak's team has an interesting line-up. There is a good finisher, Rafal Sobanski, but he hasn't been showing his best game in the new year - though he should. David Dulski, on the other hand, deserves praise as he almost always performs at his maximum.
Norwid Częstochowa doesn't have big prospects to make it into the European cups this season. They need to decently get through the 2nd round to make it into the play-offs through the group competing for the Challenge Cup spot. In the match against Stal Nysa, it will be challenging in all directions; therefore, Norwid Częstochowa is not considered a significant contender to win this match.
In the 1st round, Stal Nysa beat Norwid Częstochowa with a score of 3:0, and all sets were won by Daniel Pliński's volleyball players with an advantage.
The only viable option here implies a confident victory for Stal Nysa. The handicap of (-1.5) sets on Pliński's team is perfect for this match.