NEWS | 01/02/2019 | Edu BuenoThe Whites are looking for their 17th Euroleague win before they also travel to Malaga and Moscow in the next eight days (6:15pm CET).
The end of the Regular Season is just ten games away and Real Madrid sit second on 16 wins, seven ahead of eighth place. They head to Istanbul having won eight of their last ten as they take on the first of two consecutive away days in this competition. Next week is a visit to Moscow and CSKA (Unicaja in the League in between), so a triumph on Turkish soil this evening is vital. Darussafaka are not enjoying their best campaign so far but Laso warned in the build-up that: “they're playing much better than earlier in the season”. Their three wins have all come at home, the latest just last week against Baskonia.
The European champions have already tasted victory against the Turkish team on their own turf, beating them twice in the play-offs two seasons ago to book a place in the Final Four. In the opening game of this campaign, Real Madrid ran out 109-93 winners with an offensive exhibition as six players hit double digits. The madridistas are without two huge names in Rudy and Reyes this time, as they head straight to Malaga for this Sunday's clash (7:30pm CET), but Laso has the rest of his squad fit and available.
Real Madrid will be welcomed by furiously athletic opposition whose play is based largely on physical intensity, particularly through Eric and Evans on the inside. They are also strong on the offensive rebound and all-round intimidation (almost four blocks per game). The team's spark comes from Douglas, McCallum and the versatile Peiners, so there's sure to be a full-blooded clash in the paint with Tavares, Ayón and company. Full concentration is required to pick up what would be the seventeenth Euroleague win of the campaign in what is shaping up to be a thrilling month of February.