Date: 18 March 2019, 22:00
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Zenit KAZAN host Polish sensation in repeat of dramatic quarterfinal fixture

Trefl GDANSK were extremely close to causing a major sensation last week but ended up losing at the tiebreak to the Russian armada of Zenit KAZAN. On Tuesday, the all-time record holders in the CEV Champions League – with six titles to their name – host their Polish rivals with a spot in the semis at stake. A victory by any score would secure progression to the next stage of the competition for Zenit KAZAN – but Trefl are determined to put up another fight. Make sure you follow the match on EuroVolleyTV, the new digital home of European Volleyball!

•    A week ago in first round of the quarterfinals, the title-holders of the Champions League Zenit KAZAN claimed a strong-willed victory in the away match against Trefl GDANSK (3-2). Maciej Muzaj and Maxim Mikhailov eventually became the top scorers of the game with 27 points each.

•    Zenit KAZAN boast the top position in the Russian championship with 24 wins out of 25 matches they have played so far. The club from Tatarstan has already guaranteed their victory in the regular season. Trefl GDANSK, the bronze medallists of the last edition of the Polish league, did not make it to the Playoffs this season, since they finished only tenth at the end of the regular season.

•    The match against Trefl GDANSK will be the 130th CL game for Zenit KAZAN. The team has been continuously playing in the tournament since the 2007/2008 season and has already claimed top honours a record six times.

•    In the 2015/2016 season, these two teams crossed their ways in the first round of the Playoffs. The Kazan team sealed a solid 3-1 victory playing away, and then booked a ticket to the Playoffs 6 in their home match (3-0).

•    Trefl GDANSK head coach Andrea Anastasi was at the helm of the Spanish national team that outplayed the Russian national team led by Vladimir Alekno in the gold medal match of the 2007 European Championship in Moscow.

•    Zenit KAZAN have won 30 games in a row in the CEV Volleyball Champions League. Their winning streak began on March 24, 2016. The last team to beat Zenit KAZAN is the Polish club PGE Skra BELCHATOW, who edged the Tatars in the first match of the Playoffs 6 of the 2015/2016 season.

Vladimir Alekno, head coach of Zenit KAZAN: “Trefl GDANSK have good players, and besides that, we did not perform to the best of our abilities in the first match. The game in Poland took a lot of our energy and strength. The main task was to recharge the line-up players. That is the reason why our second team played against Yenisei KRASNOYARSK. They played really well and did a great job.”

Andrea Anastasi, head coach of Trefl GDANSK: “I am not really satisfied as we were pretty close to edging the big team from Kazan. For us being a small club it is a great opportunity to play in the Champions League. Last season was great but our roster has changed considerably since that time, with many new players. We have played extremely good this far and our team played well against Zenit KAZAN too. Unfortunately, they were better than us. Their big stars are preparing for a big battle tomorrow, but so do we.”