Khimki v Real Madrid: a win to guarantee home-court advantage

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The Whites head to Russia in search of a 20th EuroLeague win (6pm CET).
Having achieving the team's first target (to qualify for the playoffs), Real Madrid now goes in search of the second (home-court advantage), which is within touching distance. A win in tonight's contest on Khimki's floor would secure home-court advantage with four round of games to play before the curatin comes down on the Regular Season, four match-ups in which the Whites will be aiming to finish as high up the standings as possible (Madrid currently lies in third spot, behind Fenerbahçe and CSKA who it trails by two and one win respectively).

Thompkins returns
Pablo Laso travels to Moscow with a 13-man roster and will have to leave one player out before the game. Kuzmic, Pantzar and Randolph, who has had an ankle issue since the team's last league match-up, will stay behind in Madrid. One man who will be involved is Thompkins, who has been out since the start of February, after having been given the all-clear. The US player's return is important in terms of interior rotation, especially given that he was one of the team's top performers prior to suffering a muscle injury.

Reyes could draw level with Navarro as the leading EuroLeague appearance-maker.
 

It's expected that his contest, to be played at the Arena Mytishchi, will be a totally different affair to the reverse match in Madrid. That game ended in a 79-74 win for the Whites, but on that occasion the man who makes the Russians tick, Shved, wasn't on court. The Whites have won in their last two visits to this arena and their chances of another success will, in part, come down to the defense, which has been the club's best in the EuroLeague in the past five campaigns. Laso's charges outperfom Khimki in virtually all departments, apart from turnovers.

Shved
He is one of the biggest assets in the Russian team, which tops the competition's steals chart. Kurtainitis took over the reins at Khimki just six games ago, but the Moscow-based team continue to battle it out at the summit. During this time, Shved, who has been out injured since November, has also returned. He is the focal point of the team's play and has sunk an average of 19 points in his last two match-ups. However, he isn't the only threat, with Mickey, Gill and Crocker having stepped up to the plate in his absence. This match marks the first of five games for Real Madrid in the next 11 days