Zenit Sankt-Petersburg has a very interesting season, sprinkled with ups and downs. The Euroleague newcomer has lost some game at 20 points but as well has won at Olympiacos or against CSKA Moscow (in VTB League). They look like they can surprise anybody, including Panathinaikos.
The Greens are coming to face Zenit after 2 stupid games in a row when they have lost by 1 point and I feel their motivation is very high. PAO is in a delicate situation because the start of the competition was not what it supposed to be. Now the Greek powerhouse is hungry of results and they will try hard to smash Zenit tonight. A big thing for them is the returning to action of Rion Brown and Ian Vougioukas, both recovered from injuries. They have played during the weekend against PAOK.
Now Panathinaikos has almost a complete roster, their only missing player is Nikos Pappas, but still, the rotation is very large, including 12 quality fellows. Normally, they have to overcome very easy Zenit, a very ambitious team but with players who are coming from secondary European competitions, like Eurocup and BasketballCL. The roster of Zenit is not so deep, the Russian team having a lot of role-players that cannot do great things in key moments. The game lost against F.C. Barcelona by as many as 24 points proved Zenit’s weaknesses. That game was very balanced until the second half when the Catalans stormed back for an easy win. The Russian team showed thy cannot resist in front of an undermined and wild offense.
Panathinaikos can try to do the same as F.C. Barcelona in Sankt-Petersburg, a very strong offensive presence on the court, but their only problem is the lack of chemistry. If the Greens can fix that, now having as well the roster complete, they could secure the win.