- Where: Stark Arena, Belgrade, Serbia
- When: Thursday, May 19, 9 pm CET
The Final Four of the Euroleague starts on Thursday in Belgrade. On the menu – El Clasico, with Barcelona and Real Madrid clashing in the game for the finals. This season, Blaugrana had more success against Los Blancos, but this is an entirely different situation. One game, the sudden death system, makes the circumstances significantly different. No doubt, this will be a very feisty event, with the Spanish temperament increasing the already high tension.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Preview
The Catalonian squad is one of the flashiest in the Euroleague, with the former NBA star Nikola Mirotic leading the way. For many, they were the top favorites even before the start of the campaign, mostly due to a veteran forward who really plays well throughout the entire season.
Mirotic averaged 16.6 points with 5.1 boards but shot 44.3% for three and 65.2% for two, which is, you have to admit, fantastically. It is no wonder why Barca made him the most expensive player in European history. He is the only one with a double-digit average in this event.
On the other side, they have several players with between seven and ten points, which is why Barca wins games. The offensive versatility of this unit is maybe the best in the league, and whenever there is a problem or things simply aren’t working for Mirotic, somebody else jumps in to cover him.
Head coach Pablo Laso was on thin ice at one point this year. There was massive pressure for some changes, and Laso was the first on the list. The atmosphere in the locker room was terrible, and some of the players confronted Laso. That is why he eventually put aside some of them and changed the entire system, and that worked.
Gabriel Deck, Walter Tavares, and Guerschon Yabuselle are the leaders of this unit, contributing with almost half of the points scored and presenting pivotal figures on both ends of the floor. All of them are frontcourt players and very strong rim protectors, which is Real’s big weapon.
Tavares grabs 7.6 rebounds per game, with 10.9 points, and once he enters the offensive rhythm, he can easily devastate the entire defense.
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Barcelona vs Real Madrid Starting Lineups
Barcelona: Calathes, Laprovitola, Sanli, Mirotic, Davies
Real Madrid: Goss, Causer, Hanga, Yabuselle, Tavares
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Head to Head Games
These two sides have played five times this season. Believe it or not, Barcelona won on all five occasions. Two games in the EuroLeague ended 93-80 in Barcelona and 86-68 in Madrid. They later met in the Spanish Cup finals, where Barcelona triumphed 64-59, once again proving its dominance over the biggest rivals.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid Prediction
Even though Real improved over the recent few weeks and plays in excellent shape, our money here is on Barcelona. They are far superior to the Los Blancos in transition and have nasty matchups for all of their key players. Real’s advantage under the rim is constantly neutralized against Barca.
Our verdict: Barcelona