Golden League: Better reputation imposes a winning imperative against Azerbaijan

photo: vfmkd.org.mk

After the Strumica tournament and the two defeats by Estonia (1:3) and the Czech Republic (0:3), the best Macedonian volleyball players are preparing for the next two matches in European Gold League. In Beveren, the team selected by the selector Hari Nakovski will play against on Saturday Azerbaijan, and on Sunday the opponent is the host Belgium.

Both selections recorded two defeats, which is the same result as our national team. As announced by the Macedonian camp, the emphasis in these days of preparations is on Azerbaijan, considering that it has a worse rating than us. Hence, if we justify our reputation against the Azerbaijanis, it will almost be certain that we will repeat the ranking from last year's edition of the European Golden League when we were 11th, and of course we will keep the possibility of a step up.

There are no easy wins in CEV's elite competition, no matter who is on the other side of the net. Azerbaijan did not win a single set at home against Romania and against Ukraine, and in all but one, the result was convincing. But that doesn't necessarily mean anything knowing the quality of the rivals. That's why coach Nakovski insisted these days on fixing the reception, because that element will be the key to our edition of the two matches in Beveren.

If we improve, we will increase our chances in facing the Belgians, who lost 3:1 to Croatia and 3:0 to Finland, but unlike Azerbaijan, they played much closer matches at the tournament in Tampere.

There are no changes in the composition of Macedonia, which means that Toshe Efremov and Kristijan Iliev will not travel to Beveren. Nakovski will rely on the same personnel potential, and it is possible that there will be changes for the trip to Osijek, although this will not affect our editions on the field. The most important thing is for the Macedonian volleyball players to maintain their positive spirit after the defeats against Estonia and the Czech Republic and enter the match with Azerbaijan with the necessary dose of self-confidence. Concentration in every point and discipline in the game are understood although no detail will be in question if we solve the reception.

European Golden League 2024 match schedule:

17.05.2024 (Strumica): Estonia – MACEDONIA 3:1 (25:23, 14:25, 25:19, 25:22)

18.05.2024 (Strumica): Czech Republic - Estonia 3:0 (25:22, 25:20, 25:16)

19.05.2024 (Strumica): MACEDONIA – Czech Republic 0:3 (16:25, 15:25, 16:25)

25.05.2024 (Beveren, 17.30): MACEDONIA - Azerbaijan

26.06.2024 (Beveren, 15.00): Belgium – MACEDONIA

31.05.2024 (Osiek, 19.00): MACEDONIA - Croatia

01.06.2024 (Osiek, 19.00): Spain - MACEDONIA

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