NEWS | 01/12/2016 | Edu BuenoThe Whites head to Istanbul bidding to reproduce the excellent displays seen in Tel Aviv, Milan and Barcelona (6.45pm CET).
Round 10 of the EuroLeague sees Real Madrid head to the Ulker Sports Arena to take on Želimir Obradović's Fenerbahçe. The clash, billed as Game of the Week, sees the Whites (7-2) put their status as the competition's best travellers to the test against their nearest pursuers (6-3). Real Madrid are without Draper and Thompkins, whilst Bogdanovic misses out for the Turks.
Madrid arrive in Istanbul with an average valuation of 109.2, which is the highest tally for road games in the EuroLeague. The madridistas will have to match this form if they are to claim their eighth victory and continue on the tails of CSKA (8-1), who travel to Brose Baskets in this round of fixtures. Really tough opposition and a hostile atmosphere await Madrid in Istanbul. Last season's beaten finalists are on a two-game unbeaten run (Anadolu Efes and Emporio Armani) following on from three straight defeats. Unics Kazan, who Madrid downed last week (89-75), are the only team to have prevailed on Turkish soil (73-81).
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Pablo Laso revealed the key to the game: “We'll have to be really solid on rebounds if we're to beat Fenerbahçe”. Whilst Madrid have the upper hand in this department (36 to 32), both sides boast top quality interior players. Udoh (11,1 points and 7.3 rebounds), Vesely (11 points) and Antic are the visitors' main men on the inside. The Whites' roster also brims with talent in this position, with Randolph, who is Real Madrid's best debuting center in the competition (10.9 points and a PIR of 16) Hunter, Reyes, Ayón, Nocioni…It's sure to be a fine battle.
The defense will be the key area in deciding the outcome. Madrid are at their best defensively whilst Obradovic's charges have been inconsistent in attack. They average 77.1 points per game compared to Madrid's 90.9, which features an impressive 56.1% success rate on two-pointers.This is Madrid's best scoring return since the 2000/1 campaign, with November's MVP Sergio Llull (21.2 points), Randolph and Carroll leading the way. Unlike the Whites, three-pointers are proving to be the Turks' most dangerous weapon (53.6%). Dixon (12 points), and Sloukas from off the bench (12.8) have established themselves as their side's leading offensive players ahead of stars like Datome.