Serbia come into the tournament as defending champions ©Getty Images

Serbia head coach Zoran Terzic has played down his side's chances of retaining their Women's European Volleyball Championship title prior to the start of the expanded 24-team tournament tomorrow.

Matches at the competition, which concludes on September 8, will be held across venues in four European countries for the first time.

Pool A, featuring hosts Turkey, Serbia, Bulgaria, France and Greece, will take place in Ankara, while Poland, Italy, Belgium, Ukraine, Portugal and Slovenia contest Pool B in Łódź.

Hosts Hungary, the Netherlands, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Romania and Estonia will compete in Pool C in Budapest.

Pool D in Bratislava includes Slovakia, Russia, Germany, Belarus, Spain and Switzerland.

Serbia arrive at the tournament as the reigning world and European champions but Terzic admitted the increased competition makes their title defence bid more difficult.

"We have high expectations because we are the defending world and European champions and everybody expects from us that we take a medal here as well," Terzic said. 

"Of course, it will not be an easy thing to achieve. 

"We have many strong and good teams like Turkey, Russia, the Netherlands, Italy and some others. 

"Turkey especially have a strong team and we know that many fans will come to cheer for them and I am sure that they will create a great atmosphere, so we are going to have an even more difficult game against Turkey.”

The event begins with the first three matches in each of the four pools tomorrow.

The top four teams in all groups will progress to the last 16.