NEWS STORY. 02/12/2021. Edu Bueno
Real Madrid’s fine form will be put to the test on round 13 of the EuroLeague against Maccabi, in what is an all-time classic in European basketball. The Whites go into the clash on the back of nine straight wins, five of which in this competition, and will be vying to extend their winning streak to cement their place at the top of the standings. Pablo Laso, who will be taking charge of his 800th Real Madrid matchup, will have all his charges at his disposal except Alocén, who has a foot injury. Thompkins and Randolph came through training safely and could feature in the squad.
The madridistas, who have racked up 10 wins from 12 EuroLeague matches and are joint leaders in the standings, host Maccabi, who sit in seventh position with of record of seven wins and five defeats, and after coming away empty handed from three of their last four outings the side from Tel Aviv will be looking to come away with a victory. Madrid’s opponents have only beaten Asvel and Baskonia on the road. Meanwhile, the hosts have proven extremely difficult to beat at the WiZink Center (six wins from six) and are currently in their best spell of the competition so far with five straight wins, a run which extends to nine matches with those played in the league and stretches back to 29 October, when the side beat Baskonia.
Video.Real Madrid-Maccabi: sixth straight EuroLeague win in sight
It will be another stern test for Madrid, who welcome back Taylor, Thompkins and Randolph. They will be up against a well-balanced side, with clinical shooters from the perimeter (Wilbekin, Evans and Nunnally) and who are strong on the inside (Zizic, Williams, Reynolds and Caloiaro). Madrid will have to be at their best defensively - the Whites have conceded an average of 67 points per game in the last three matchups and limited Baskonia to just 60 points last time out. This is partly down to Tavares. The center was named MVP in November after racking up an average of 11.2 points, 7 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 18 in PIR in less than 25 minutes per game.
A truly special match
Due to its longstanding rivalry this is the most repeated face-off of all time and today the two teams will go head to head for the 63rd time. History favours Madrid, with 38 wins to Maccabi's 24 and the hosts have clinched victory on the visitors’ last six visits. The two clubs met in two finals of the competition, with victory for our team in 1980 and for the Israelis in 2014. It will also be a special occasion for Abalde, who, if he plays, will reach 100 games as a Madrid player. Another tough month begins with 10 games in 28 days (six in EuroLeague and four in the league).