FIVB World League kicks off on Friday

20:22, June 04, 2010      

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Defending champions and world No. 1 Brazil host Bulgaria while Olympic champions America visit world No. 3 Russia in two mouth-watering opening matches for the first round of the 2010 FIVB World League, which starts on Friday.

Last year's bronze medallists Russia play the United States in an absolute cracker of an opening match at 1200 GMT on Friday in Ekaterinebourg followed by Brazil's match against world No. 6 Bulgaria in Uberlandia 30 minutes later.

Despite going into the Pool A match against Bulgaria without a number of star players, Brazil coach Bernardo Bernardinho Rezende has full confidence in his young team who are aiming for a record-equaling eighth World League title.

"We will not have our best team for the matches in Uberlandia but that is the situation we have to live with as Bulgaria is probably the strongest rival we are going to have in the Intercontinental Round," Bernardinho said.

"They pushed Argentina close in some friendly matches and certainly have a better rhythm than us. However, even if we do not have our best players, I can assure everyone we will have an efficient team on court."

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