The clash of the round: Armani Milan hosting Olympiacos

Round 12 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague will feature some interesting games, including the Turkish (Fenerbahce vs Efes) and French (Monaco vs Asvel) derby, but the most important game for the standings might be the one between AX Armani Milan and Olympiacos, that will be played at the Mediolanum Forum on Friday.

Right now, both teams are in a playoff spot, but lately, both struggled a bit and a defeat would move them further back in the standings. After an amazing start of the season, where Ettore Messina’s Milan was playing like the best team in Europe, the Italians looked weak in Russia, where they lost both their games against Unics (97:71) and Zenit (74:70).

Olympiacos is coming after a heartbreaking loss at home in the Eternal derby of Greece against city rivals Panathinaikos, the most important game of the season for their fans. This will add extra pressure for Sloukas and co. as they need a win in Italy to regain the confidence of their passionate fans.

Also, it’s worrying that Olympiacos struggled in the last quarter in all 3 of their games played in the last week. Against Efes, coach Georgios Bartzokas’s team scored just 3 points in the last 10 minutes and were destroyed 20-3. Against Maccabi, Olympiacos lost the 4th quarter by 9 points, but at least they won the game, playing excellent in the first 3 quarters. And then, The Reds blew a 13 point lead in the fourth quarter on Monday against Panathinaikos, losing the quarter by 16 points. On the positive side, Sasha Vezenkov’s great form is worth mentioning. The forward averaged 17 points and over 7 rebounds in the last 3 games played by Olympiacos.

I would pick Armani Milan to win this game. They play at home and I think the bad week they had in Russia was just an accident and with the amazing roster they have, they cannot lose 3 games in a row. Also, we can expect a low scoring game, as both teams usually excel in defense.

Image credit: EuroLeague

Imre Halasz