NEWS STORY. 11/02/2022. Edu Bueno
Real Madrid welcome Barcelona to the WiZink Center for round 26 of the EuroLeague. The leaders in the standings with 20 wins, one more than Barça, will be vying to equal their best ever run of straight wins on home soil in the competition – which currently stands at 15, racked up in the 2013-14 campaign. Madrid only need two more victories, but win number 14 will be no straight-forward task given the team’s fierce opponents coupled with the demanding fixture calendar, which sees the side in action for an eighth time in the space of 18 days.
The Whites have produced consistent performances, but they go into the clash having had less recovery time compared to Barça, who will be playing for the first time this week. Jasikevicius’s troops go into the matchup in second place with a 19-5 record and on the back of three wins in a row, all coming on their home court. However, in their last two away games they slipped to defeat in Kazan and Vitoria. Before the match, Felipe Reyes will be presented with the EuroLeague Legend award.
As always, the fine details will be pivotal to a game of this level. Madrid rank highest in the competition (95.2) and will have to shore up a stellar defence, the second best (conceding an average of 71.8 points), since Barça are the second highest scorers (82.6) and top the 3-point percentage charts (41.1%). Rebounding and control of turnovers will also be critical factors.
Video.Real Madrid-Barça: leaders looking to extend unbeaten home run in EuroLeague
Pablo Laso welcomes back Heurtel and Hanga after the pair missed out last time out. The French point guard has averaged 13.2 points, 6.5 assists and 16 in PIR in his last four appearances. This will be a welcome boost for the team, who will look to Tavares, Poirier and Yabusele as their three benchmarks in the EuroLeague. Barça will be without Higgins and Abrines, but the visitors have an abundance of offensive talent.
100% win record in sight
Only the Real Madrid side from the 2013-14 campaign, also under the guidance of Laso, have produced a longer winning streak than this term’s group. The record-holding side won all their EuroLeague games at the WiZink Center, both in the Regular Season and the playoffs. This evening, the madridistas have the chance to make it 14 straight victories and if they manage to do so, they will have the opportunity to clinch a 100% win record with remaining games against Olimpia Milan, Asvel and Bayern Munich. But first the Whites must put on a stellar display to defeat their fiercest rivals.