Thomas Jaeschke of Allianz Milano celebrates a point

A clash between two neighbours in the middle of the Italian men’s league table is one of this weekend’s highlights on the SuperLega Credem Banca programme. With Cucine Lube Civitanova and Itas Trentino Trento now set to get their 2021 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship campaigns underway on Wednesday, their 10th-leg games were played a couple of weeks earlier. The remaining four fixtures of the leg will be contested on Saturday and Sunday, all available live and on demand on Volleyball TV.

Seventh-placed Allianz Milan will host eighth-placed Kioene Padua on Sunday at 18:00 local time. The visiting team have a better win-loss record of 5-3, but with all but one of their victories arriving after five sets they have collected only 11 points for the ranking, which puts them just short of Allianz’s 12 despite the fact that the home side have a balance of four wins and four losses. It is still unclear if Kioene’s new addition Ran Takahashi will be available in time to go face to face across the net with his Japanese compatriot Yuki Ishikawa in Milan.

Shifting up and down the standings by a position, one finds the two teams that will meet in the other six-o’clock game on Sunday. Ninth-placed Top Volley Cisterna welcome sixth-placed Leo Shoes PerkinElmer Modena in an attempt to put an end to their opponents' winning streak that has now been extended over six matches in all competitions. After their last defeat on November 14 at Lube, the stellar squad from Modena have won three SuperLega and three CEV Cup matches. Earlier this week, Leo Shoes played a home double-header with Romania’s CSS CNE Lapi Dej SCM Zalau winning by 3-1 and 3-0 to advance to the CEV Cup eighth-finals. In the Italian league, they have a 5-3 win-loss record and 14 points, while Top Volley are on 3-5 and nine points.

“I hope that we will be able to achieve something more against the team from Modena, who are healthy and very strong,” said Top Volley’s coach Fabio Soli. “We have to play point by point, so as to get to the bottom of the sets evenly, to capitalize on all the opportunities... We want to move up the standings at all costs. It is clear that it is not easy against the top-level teams, but we are confident that we will be able to improve and be a little more solid in the match against Modena.”

Last week, Leo Shoes handed Sir Safety Conad Perugia their first defeat of the league season, but the Block Devils swiftly got back on track, winning at Kioene on Sunday. On Thursday of this week, Perugia once again showed the top shape they are in by delivering a convincing 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-23) shutout of Trentino in an all-Italian Champions League game at home. Wilfredo Leon produced as many as seven aces towards his 20-point match high. It was an almost perfect match to what the Polish star did last month for his team’s straight-set win over Trentino in a domestic game, when he hammered seven aces towards a total of 21 points.

Sir Safety are second in the current SuperLega standings. They have won seven of their eight matches so far and collected 22 points, six short of table leaders Lube, who have already played 11 games. In an attempt to shorten that distance, they will entertain 11th-placed Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia (2-7) in Perugia on Sunday at 15:30 local time. Last weekend, Tonno Callipo wasted a two-set lead to lose to Vero Volley Monza at home, but coach Valerio Baldovin was able to find the positives.

“There remains a bad taste in my mouth for losing after we were 2-0 ahead, but having scored a point against a high-calibre team was still something positive,” he said. “From now on we have to play with the mentality and the conviction that it will be necessary to scrape the bottom of the barrel in every game to always bring something home.”

Saturday’s only match offers a bottom-of-the-table clash between Verona Volley and Consar RCM Ravenna, set to start at 18:00 at Verona’s AGSM Forum. The hosts will enter the game on a 2-6 win-loss record and five points, while their opponents from Ravenna have yet to achieve their first win after losing all 10 of their matches so far and collecting only two points.

  • Watch all the matches of the Italian men's and women's top-division leagues live or on demand on Volleyball TV.