China v Japan women VNL 2021

This week's Volleyball Nations League action in Quezon City will close with an exciting edition of the all-Asian classic between Japan and China. Two of the leading teams in the current standings will clash on Sunday at 19:00 local time (11:00 GMT) in the Philippines.

· Watch all VNL 2022 matches live on Volleyball TV.

Japan enter this important duel as the only undefeated team in the tournament so far. They lead the current standings on a 7-0 win-loss record and 20 points. After losing to USA on Saturday, China are on 5-2 and third in the table.

Last year Japan put an end to China’s 10-match winning streak in their head-to-head series at major world-level competitions, which had started back in 2014. On May 26, 2021 in Rimini, Sarina Koga and her teammates cruised to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-14) victory. Japan’s current captain contributed 13 points to that victory, while outside hitter Mayu Ishikawa delivered the match high of 18 points.

Japan finished the 2021 Preliminary Round on a 12-3 win-loss record in third place, advancing to the Finals and eventually finishing in fourth place. China finished fifth on 10-5. Both teams took the fifth places in their Tokyo 2020 pools and failed to make it to the quarterfinals.

In addition to Koga, who is the second best scorer of the competition so far with 151 points to her name, and Ishikawa, the Japanese squad for this week in Quezon City features two more Olympians, outside hitter Kotona Hayashi and middle blocker Haruyo Shimamura.

The Chinese team, on the other hand, have five Tokyo Olympians travelling to the Philippines. They include setter Ding Xia, opposite Gong Xiangyu, outside Li Yingying and middle blockers Yuan Xinyue and Wang Yuanyuan.

Japan and China will play in the very last match in Quezon City. For the last week of the Preliminary Round, Japan will travel to Calgary, while China will make the trip to Sofia.

Earlier on Sunday, Bulgaria and Belgium will open the last competition day in the Philippines, followed by a game between Thailand and USA. The week will finish with three matches in the other pool in Brasilia, Brazil v Serbia, Germany v Dominican Republic and Türkiye v Korea, in that order.