This is definitely the most awaited derby from any domestic league of Europe. Both teams are at the top in Spain and in the Euroleague, having amazing rosters and budgets. I trust F.C. Barcelona with the first chance to win the clash because:
- Real Madrid has lost Sergio Lull and Felipe Reyes with long term injuries and the veteran Jaycee Caroll didn’t play last game in Euroleague at Panathinaikos.
- Even without Kevin Pangos and Thomas Huertel, injured at the beginning of the season, F.C. Barcelona has now one of the deepest and experienced rosters in Europe. They have spent this season the highest amount of money in the club history and the results are coming. This game is vital for the Catalans, in order to fight for the first place at the end of the regular season in Liga Endesa.
- Real Madrid had to travel this Euroleague round to face Panathinaikos in Athens, while F.C. Barcelona played at home against Olympiacos and they had more rest
- The homecourt and the crowds of fans will be an advantage for the Catalan club. This is a symbolical battle each year with an enormous meaning for the host team. Losing today against Real Madrid it will mean that all the season’s investments were almost useless. If you cannot beat Real at home in these circumstances, you are not a top team!
- Real Madrid won the previous 2 meetings this season, in the Spanish SuperCup with 89-79 and in the Euroleague with 86-76, but both encounters took place in Madrid. Now it’s time to take revenge and I think that the motivation and the need for victory are bigger on F.C. Barcelona side.
Real Madrid is still one of the most difficult squad to meet by any team in Europe, but F.C. Barcelona has to prove now they can make it.