Two of the four teams that remain undefeated after the first two weekends of action in the 2022-2023 SuperLega Credem Banca are set to clash in the opening match of week 3 when Sir Safety Perugia host WithU Verona on Saturday at 20.30 local time (18.30 GMT).

If on other occasions it is fair to say Perugia would be the clear favourites, that’s certainly not the case this time, despite last season's vice-champions having won the last 13 encounters between the two teams and not losing to their opponents since 2016. And that is down to Verona’s strong start to the season

· Watch all SuperLega matches live on or on demand on Volleyball TV.

Verona won their first two matches of the season and did so against two of the strongest teams in the country, namely a star-studded Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza and Italian Supercup winners and 2021 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship bronze medallists Itas Trentino.

The team from Northern Italy also have two of the top three scorers of the Italian League so far, Russian opposite Maksim Sapozhkov, who ranks first with 62 points, and Slovenian outside hitter Rok Možic, who's third on a total of 48.

“Unlike most teams, Verona are in great form right now,” Perugia’s head coach Andrea Anastasi commented. “They’re playing very well, are led by a 43-year-old setter (Rapha Oliveira) who’s in great form, and have heavy hitters who can score in any situation. We’ll need to be focused, to do better than we’ve been doing in some aspects of the game and be ready to take points whenever we have an opportunity.”

Perugia also enter the match in good form, following their 3-1 victory over Emma Villas Aubay Siena on Sunday. More important than the result, however, was Wilfredo Leon's return.

The star Polish outside hitter had been sidelined since the end of the last club season with a knee injury, and missed the Volleyball Nations League and the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship. He led his team with 21 points in his first match after having surgery.

“It always feels good to return to the court after such a long time,” Leon told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I tried to do my best, but I feel I still need another three or four matches to get back to my 100 per cent. We didn’t have a lot of time to practise with the players who were with their national teams during the World Championship, and I believe when everyone is on the same page we’ll play even better.”

With Leon back on the roster, and the likes of World Championship Most Valuable Player Simone Gianelli, Polish national team outside hitter Kamil Semeniuk, Ukrainian top server Oleh Plotnytskyi and several other international stars involved, Perugia will hope to overcome Verona and extend their winning streak.

The duel between Perugia and Verona is the only one scheduled on Saturday, with five more matches set to be played on Sunday. The first is set to start at 15.30 local time (13.30 GMT) and will reunite Allianz Milano and Siena.

There will be two matches at 18.00 local time (16.00 GMT) – Gioiella Prisma Taranto vs. Vero Volley Monza and Cucine Lube Civitanova vs. Valsa Group Modena – and another two at 20.30 local time (18.30 GMT) – Top Volley Cisterna vs. Pallavolo Padova and Piacenza vs. Trentino.