The derby of the round: Real Madrid – Fenerbahce

Thursday night, the WiZink Center in Madrid will host one of the most interesting games from Round 5 of the EuroLeague between Real Madrid and Fenerbahce.

Real Madrid is almost perfect so far this season. The Blanco’s only loss in the EuroLeague came in a hard fought battle in Piraeus against a strong Olympiacos team. Other than that, Pablo Laso and his men convincingly beat Anadolu Efes, Monaco and Panathinaikos. In the ACB League, they also look dominant winning all their 6 games and it seems like Real and Barcelona have no other rivals in Spain at this moment.

The only headache for Pablo Laso will be the absence of Sergio Llull, who will sit out the game against the Turkish side. Injuries were an issue for Real last season too, but they have a very deep roster so they have solutions for any absence. Walter Tavares is again having an MVP caliber season, being the best scorer and rebounder of the team, while new French additions Guerschon Yabusele and Thomas Heurtel are also having a great start to the season.

Fenerbahce arrives in Spain with a 2-2 record in the EuroLeague. They lost incredibly in Athens against Panathinaikos, a game they had in their hands but two unsportsmanlike fouls in the last ten seconds turned the table in the Green’s favour. Then they suffered another shocking defeat against Alba in Berlin, a game they controlled in the first half, but then totally collapsed in the second half.

That defeat was a wake-up call for Sasha Djordjevic’s side. Just two days after the loss in Germany, Fener trashed Unics Kazan, holding the Russians to just 41 points. On Monday they also beat Anadolu Efes in convincing fashion, maintaining their unbeaten run in the Turkish league (4-0).

The betting sites expect an easy Real Madrid win (odds around 1.33 – 1.35). However, Fener seems to be in great shape at this moment and they have the quality to produce a surprise.

Imre Halasz

Image credit: EuroLeague