This is the first real test for F.C. Barcelona, who had an incredible start of the season in the Euroleague. Till now they faced almost underdog team, excepting Anadolu Efes (team plagued by injuries at the game time) and Olimpia Milano who provided the Catalans with the only loss in the major European competition.
But this time is different not only because it is another page of el Classico, but because will show F.C. Barcelona’s abilities to win tough battles away. It will be a nice encounter and I really think the visitors have their chances in spite of the huge odds.
Real Madrid has 3 big men missing at this moment of the season: the most recent acquisition Salaj Mejri, the veteran Felipe Reyes and the American power forward Trey Thompkins. This will affect a bit the rotation and I don’t see Usman Garuba stoping Nikola Mirotic, Brandon Davies and Ante Tomic.
On the other side, F.C. Barcelona has 2 long-term injured guards, Kevin Pangos and Thomas Huertel, but still, they have an excellent backcourt in Malcolm Delaney, Cory Higgins and Pau Ribas, who can be back for this game. The absence of Victor Claver won’t count that much for the Catalan squad. My opinion is that the encounter is more balanced than we could imagine, even if Real Madrid has a huge advantage because they are playing in front of their fans. But Barca will have their chance to prove their big hopes to be crowned as Euroleague kings in May 2020. They have invested a lot of money this summer buying some key players who will have a word to say exactly in this kind of battles. Only to beat average teams like Alba Berlin, Zenit Sankt-Petersburg or Asvel Lyon, they didn’t need to make such a big investment this season. Barca is aiming for more and the time to win important clashes has come.