Defending champions Serbia and hosts Turkey headline Pool A
We are only four days away from the historic CEV EuroVolley 2019 Women, which is due to begin this coming Friday, August 23, and it is about time to know more about the teams competing for the continental crown. We start our review from Pool A, whose matches will be taking place at the iconic Ankara Sports Hall in Turkey’s capital city.
There is much to look forward to since this group features defending champions Serbia and 2017 bronze medal winners Turkey, plus another solid contender such as Bulgaria, who recently posed a threat to USA during an Olympic qualifying event. France, Finland and Greece complete the pool – with the top four set to continue their journey in the 8th Finals crossing their ways with teams from Pool C, whose matches will take place in Budapest, Hungary.
• Title-holders Serbia hope to win the European Championship for the third time, after 2011 and 2017.
• Serbia are the reigning world champions (2018) and runners up at the Olympic Games (2016). They qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this August.
• Serbia have reached the semi-finals in five of the previous six European Championships, claiming a medal in 2007 (2nd), 2011 (1st), 2015 (3rd) and 2017 (1st).
• Serbia can win eight successive matches at the European Championships for the first time.
• Serbia lost to Turkey (3-0) and Bulgaria (3-1) in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League. They beat France (2011) and Finland (1989, as Yugoslavia) in their most recent encounters at the European Championship.
• Turkey reached the semi-finals in three of the last four European Championships (3rd in 2011, 4th in 2015, 3rd in 2017). They reached the final once, finishing runners-up in 2003.
• Turkey have won their most recent matches against all of their opponents in Pool A at major world level competitions. They will face France, Finland and Greece for the first time at a major tournament.
• Bulgaria won the European Championship in 1981 and they finished third in 1979 and 2001.
• Bulgaria finished 14th (2011), 13th (2013), 13th (2015) and ninth (2017) at the last four European Championships.
• At major world level competitions, Bulgaria have won the most recent matches against Serbia and France, but they lost against Turkey.
• France return to the European Championship after an eight-place finish in 2013. Their best result was a fourth place in 1951.
• France have lost the most recent encounters with Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey at European Championships, but they won versus Greece. France will face Finland for the first time at the European Championship.
• Finland will make their third appearance at the European Championship. They finished 12th and last in 1977 and in 1989.
• Finland have a W1-L13 record in matches at the European Championship, including defeats against Turkey (2), Bulgaria (1) and Serbia (as Yugoslavia 2).
• Finland's only victory at the European Championship was a 3-2 victory against West Germany in their first-ever match in the competition in 1977.
• Greece have played at four European Championships, finishing last in 1985, 1993 and 2001. Their best result was eighth in 1991.
• Greece have lost 22 of their 24 matches at European Championships, including defeats in their last 15 matches.
• Greece's two wins were a 3-2 victory against France in 1991 and a 3-1 win versus Albania in the same year.