Turkey and China, the top two sides in the overall rankings of the 2019 International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), warmed up for their showdown on Wednesday (June 12) with easy victories in their week four opening fixtures.
Both in Pool 16 - the only time they are in a preliminary group together this year - Turkey and China recorded their ninth and eighth victories respectively of the competition so far, both in straight sets at the in Jiangmen Sports Hall.
Turkey were impressive in dismantling reigning champions United States, 25-15, 25-17, 27-25, while China saw off Poland 25-12, 25-18, 25-22.
All attention now turns to whether China can inflict only Turkey's second Nations League defeat of this competition in front of a home crowd.
Pool 15, containing Japan, Brazil, Serbia and Thailand, has the added interest of being held at Musashino Forest Sports Plaza in Tokyo, due to be the venue for volleyball at next year's Olympic Games, as well as badminton and fencing.
Brazil maintained their push for a place in the preliminary standings top six and a spot in the final round with a four set victory over hosts Japan, 25-17, 25-19, 20-25, 25-22.
USA 🇺🇸 and Turkey 🇹🇷 took the end of set 3 to the next level, but the last word belongs to…— Volleyball World (@FIVBVolleyball) June 11, 2019
📺 👉 https://t.co/RQp8h4Ny7A #BePartOfTheGame #volleyball #VNLWomen #VNL @usavolleyball @TVForgtr pic.twitter.com/v8sNt6RFPr
Thailand earlier claimed their fourth win of the Nations League, seeing off world champions Serbia impressively in three sets, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21.
Elsewhere, in front of a home crowd at PalaEvangelisti in Perugia, Italy kept pace with the leaders by sweeping aside Bulgaria for their eight win of the series.
Italy won 25-19, 25-23, 25-20, meaning Bulgaria have lost all 10 of their matches so far and are in severe danger of relegation.
The other match in Pool 13 saw Russia defeat South Korea in four sets, 25-23, 15-25, 25-20, 25-17.
Pool 13, staged at the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart, saw neighbours Belgium and Netherlands put on a titanic battle over five sets.
Having been two sets down, the Belgians battled back brilliantly to win 22-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-19, 15-10.
Pool hosts Germany played Dominican Republic in the late game and won in four sets, 25-19, 14-25, 25-19, 25-21.