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2018-08-16 21:49:00 CET

Five games for Friday!

Crunch time in Hamburg

Lupo and Nicolai (here in white) face a big match to stay in the tournament on FridayLupo and Nicolai (here in white) face a big match to stay in the tournament on Friday

The Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone reaches its most critical stage as men’s and women’s teams fight to keep their dreams of staying in the tournament alive.

As well as a host of top pool play matches, we also have the first two of four men’s quarterfinals match as the weekend approaches.

There are 10 matches already fixed in the schedule to keep an eye on – so here’s five that really deserve your attention on BeachStream.

Who? Lupo/Nicolai v Stoyanovskiy/Velichko

When? 12 noon CEST

Where? Court 2

Why? The Italians won bronze here 12 months ago but could face a shock elimination if the rising stars from Russia can spring a surprise. Both teams could squeeze through into the knockout stages if other results go their way and that unknown element of what lies ahead gives this tie added spice.

Who? Wickler/Thole v Kantor/Losiak

When? 1.30pm CEST

Where? Red Bull Beach Arena

Why? A win for the Germans will not only rubber-stamp their place in the semifinals but also send out a huge message to the rest of the world. The Poles are one of the best technical teams in the world so a victory for the home favorites would further establish their place among the beach elite. With every point vital in the race to finish in the top three, this is a game where fine margins could be massive.

Who? Mol/Sørum v Brouwer/Meeuwsen  

That's why they call it thinking on your feet 😉 Play back today's #HamburgFinals matches on BeachStream [link in bio] @beachteam_thole_wickler @vodafone_de @hamburg_de

383 Likes, 1 Comments - Beach Volleyball Major Series (@beachmajorseries) on Instagram: "That's why they call it thinking on your feet 😉 Play back today's #HamburgFinals matches on..."

When? 2.30pm CEST

Where? Red Bull Beach Arena

Why? Just like the Germans, Norway’s new kids on the block are riding the crest of the wave. The Scandinavian stars have are unbeaten in their last 22 matches and a win would send them straight through to the last four. They face a Dutch team who need a victory to avoid an early exit. The teams last met at the Vienna Major – and Norwegians came out on top…

Who? Laboureur/Sude v Bansley/Wilkerson

When? 5.30pm CEST

Where? Red Bull Beach Arena

Why? There will not be an empty seat in the house for this clash of two of the world’s best women’s teams. Home heroes Chantal and Julia are everyone’s idea of this year’s winners. However, super consistent Canadians Heather and Brandie have won every match so far and go into the game knowing another win will book them a place in the semifinal.

Who? Pavan/Humana-Paredes v Bieneck/Schneider

When? 6.30pm CEST

Where? Red Bull Beach Arena

Why? German fans will be willing on Victoria and Isabel as they face the Canadians in the final women’s match of the day. Both teams ended play on Thursday with two losses from two matches so, depending on their results in the morning session, this game will prove to be an absolutely crucial for either teams’ chances under the Red Bull Beach Arena floodlights.

The day will end with two of the men’s quarterfinals, with the first kicking off at 7.45pm CEST. And you can watch all of these matches and more by subscribing to BeachStream.

All eyes will be on German hopes Chantal Laboureur and Julia SudeAll eyes will be on German hopes Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude

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