Bari, Italy, September 15, 2018 - USA (2-0) and Russia (2-0) go head-to-head on Saturday, when one of the two will suffer their first defeat at the 2018 FIVB World Championship. It's the 10th time the two sides meet in a World Championship, with the Americans having won just once in the previous nine encounters - a 3-1 win in the final of the 1986 World Championship in Paris against the USSR.
• The United States and Russia (including the USSR and CIS) meet for the 10th time at the World Championship.
• USA won only one of the previous nine meetings, but that was the only final these teams played against each other. In 1986, USA beat Soviet Union 3-1 in Paris.
• Most recently USA and Russia met at the 2010 World Championship, when Russia won in straight sets in the final for fifth place.
• At all world level major competitions, Russia have won their last three matches against USA. This directly follows an eight-match losing streak by Russia in head-to-head matches versus USA.
• World level major competitions are: World Championships, Olympic Games, World Cup, World League, Grand Champions Cup and the Nations League.
• The United States beat Serbia and Australia at the 2018 World Championship, both in five sets.
• The United States could win three straight World Championship matches in five sets for the first time.
• Including their last match at the 2014 World Championship (3-2 loss against Argentina), three consecutive United States matches have gone into a fifth set. USA have never played four five-setters in a row at the World Championship.
• The United States could start their World Championship with three victories for the first time since 2010, when they beat Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina to open their tournament.
• Matt Anderson (40 points) is United States' tournament top scorer in 2018.
• Russia defeated both Australia and Tunisia 3-0 in their first two matches at this World Championship.
• In 2014, Russia won their first eight matches, before losing three in a row and ultimately finishing fifth.
• Russia have won their last three World Championship matches in straight sets. They could win four in a row in three sets for the first time since six straight in 2006.
• In world level major tournaments, Russia have won 10 of their last 12 matches in three sets. The exceptions were a 3-0 defeat against France and a 3-1 win over Poland in the 2018 Nations League.
• Maxim Mikhaylov led his team in scoring against Australia (17 points) and Tunisia (11).