Euroleague basketball predictions included under each game.
Just 48 hours after their previous Turkish Airlines EuroLeague games, the teams are back for Round 4. Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens hosts Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul in a repeat of last season’s playoffs, which saw Fenerbahce make history by sweeping the series despite not having home-court advantage. It will be interesting for forward Jonah Bolden when he visits Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade with Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv; Bolden was originally signed to play for Zvezda this season. And in an All-Spanish League contest, Valencia Basket faces Unicaja Malaga in a repeat of last season’s 7DAYS EuroCup Finals.
Anadolu Efes Istanbul vs. CSKA Moscow
Winless Efes (0-3) won’t have it easy on Friday against CSKA (2-1), though the home team’s chances could be improved if some of their injured players return to boost the rotation. One determined CSKA player to succeed is former MVP Nando De Colo, who was ejected from the team’s victory on Wednesday after less than 11 minutes of playing time. CSKA has won four straight and eight of nine against Efes.
Brose Bamberg vs. Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz
Two teams with different emotional states duel in this clash. Brose (1-2) comes off an uplifting road win at Unicaja, while Baskonia (0-3) lost its home opener after which head coach Pablo Prigioni resigned. Bamberg will hope to have point guard Nikos Zisis and forward Dorell Wright in uniform for the game; Zisis was out Wednesday due to illness, while Wright signed on Wednesday and is set to make his EuroLeague debut.
Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens vs. Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul
This game is a repeat from last season’s playoffs, which Fenerbahce (2-1) swept 3-0. The champs are in good spirits after getting strong production from four of their newcomers in Wednesday’s home opener. Panathinaikos (1-2) is eager to return home after losing both of its road games this season. The Greens have struggled with shooting so far this season and will need to have their rhythm offensively to have a good chance on Friday.
Valencia Basket vs. Unicaja Malaga
The last game to tip off in Round 4 is an all-Spanish League affair and a rematch of last season’s 7DAYS EuroCup Finals. Valencia (2-1) is undefeated in games in Spain thus far with a home win and a road win at Baskonia. Unicaja (1-2) has been involved in three close games, but has only one win to show for it. One interesting matchup will be former Valencia guard Nemanja Nedovic, who scored a career-best 26 points on Wednesday, facing red-hot Erick Green.
Crvena Zvezda vs. Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv
Action opens in the Serbian capital and the site of the 2018 Final Four, which is the same city where Maccabi (2-1) won its first title in 1977. The visitors will try to bounce back from their first loss, while Zvezda (1-2) looks to make the most of its home-court advantage. While Maccabi boasts the second-best defense in the competition this season with just 69.3 points allowed per game, Zvezda has five players averaging double figures in scoring, including former Maccabi guard and one-time Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner Taylor Rochestie.
Olympiacos Piraeus vs. Khimki Moscow Region
Only one of these teams will survive Round 4 with a perfect record. Olympiacos (3-0) has marched to the top of the standings thanks to the stingiest defense in the competition (69.0 points allowed per game), while Khimki (3-0) has enjoyed three home games to start the season and Alexey Shved leading the charge on the court. The game marks the return of Coach Georgios Bartzokas, who led the Reds to the 2013 EuroLeague title, to Peace and Friendship Stadium.
Zalgiris Kaunas vs. Real Madrid
This is a clash of confident teams coming off big wins. Zalgiris (2-1) captured a road win in Barcelona thanks to stellar play by point guards Vasilije Micic and Kevin Pangos, while Madrid (3-0) rode another fantastic game by league-leading scorer Luka Doncic to victory. Madrid has won eight straight against Zalgiris and 15 of their 16 meeting this century, but Paulius Jankunas and co. may be ready to turn that page.
Olimpia Milan vs. FC Barcelona Lassa
Two teams eager to snap losing slides meet in the fashion capital. Milan (0-3) has looked great at times and took the former champs to overtime in its most-recent home game, but still has nothing to show for it. Barcelona (1-2) has pushed the ball nicely with its point guard tandem and weapons inside, but has yet to win on the road.
Basketball Tips: livetipster.com