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Spain try for revenge on Montenegro

It was a clear defeat, led by Aleksandar Radovic and Nikola Janovic whose shooting proved too much to handle. Now things are different, not the least because of the absence of Nikola Janovic who announced his immediate retirement following the recent 2016 European Championships in Belgrade in January. Therefore Spain gets a fair shot at revenge for the 11-6 loss in Herceg Novi on day 1 (October 20, 2015) of the FINA World League prelims when they host the current European runners-up in Sabadell on Tuesday. Both teams are tied in group B behind unbeaten Serbia but Montenegro still need to play their postponed match vs. France, to be contested on March 14. The match-up, which finished in an 8-8 draw at the Belgrade 2016 Europeans tournament group stage, highlights day 4 of the prelims which continue after the winter break. It is also likely to decide which team stays in the race to battle Serbia for a possible upset in the group in the race for a Super Final spot as only the group winners will advance. For that Spain will need a big win on Tuesday.
Montenegro head coach Vladimir Gojkovic uses the World League to test new and younger players and made no exception for Tuesday's match in Spain as Bogdan Djurdjic, Jovan Saric, Radovan Latinovic and Stefan Vidovic, multiple players also playing under Gojkovic at the club team of Jadran, are selected to gain international experience. For Spain 'new' names can be seen in the line-up as youngsters Alejandro Bustos (Real Canoe), Oriol Rodriguez (Terrassa) and Roger Tahull (Barceloneta) got the call from head coach Gabriel Hernandez, with the latter returning to the line-up after already being named to the team for the 2016 Europeans.

Elsewhere Hungary enjoy a favourite role visiting Tbilisi to take on Georgia who are still seeking their first points. Also in group A, current leaders Greece travel to Bucharest where Romania await.
In group B defending champs in a revised line-up Serbia take on the ambitious France team in the city of Strasbourg. Head coach Dejan Savic rested the players playing in Hungary, goalkeeper Branislav Mitrovic, captain Zivko Gocic, Milos Cuk, Milan Aleksic and Stefan Mitrovic and also Pro Recco player Dusan Mandic. In the teams first match-up, in Belgrade on day 1, the French played along nicely for 3 quarters and looked close to an upset before veteran Filip Filipovic and Andrija Prlainovic led the home team to a 12-9 win.
In group C Italy host Russia in Turin as the Italians looked to continue their unbeaten run after 3 rounds so far taking on the up-and-coming Russian team. For pointless Turkey their home game vs. Croatia in Ankara will be another major experience playing one of Europe's top teams in this World League campaign.


FINA Men's World League
Europe Preliminary phase


Round 4 - Tuesday, February 16:

18.30: Georgia vs. Hungary (in Tbilisi)
19.00: Romania vs. Greece (in Bucharest)
19.15: Spain vs. Montenegro (in Sabadell)
20.00: France vs. Serbia (in Strasbourg)
20.00: Turkey vs. Croatia (in Ankara)
20.30: Italy vs. Russia (in Turin)

N.b.: time mentioned is local time.

Current standings


Group A:
1. Greece 3-9 pts, 2. Hungary 3-6, 3. Romania 3-3, 4. Georgia 3-0.

Group B:

1. Serbia 3-9 pts, 2. Montenegro 2-3, 3. Spain 3-3, 4. France 2-0.

Group C:
1. Italy 3-9 pts, 2. Croatia 3-6, 3. Russia 3-3, 4. Turkey 3-0.

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