With the mind in their Euroleague clashes next week, both teams will look for a decisive blow to each other tonight. Valencia primarily is going strong in the battle to enter the top-8 of the European inter-club organization. However, their hopes for this goal are diminishing week after week, despite the promising results in the tournament’s first months. In the ACB league (17-8, 5th), they are doing considerably well in the last two months, having achieved 13 victories in the previous 15 games. The only exception is the off-schedule defeat that they suffered last week from Hipuskoa at home (with an emphatic 78-60). Two main issues for coach Ponsarnau ahead of the derby with Barcelona: playmaker Van Rossom (7.7 points) and the team’s captain, center Dublevic (12.1 points), who will both miss this critical encounter.
On the other hand, Barcelona returns victorious from Milan, where they beat Armani last Friday and secured first place in the regular season of the 2020/21 Euroleague. In ACB (21-3, 2nd), they come from 12 consecutive wins. In general, Sarunas Jasikevicius’s team play some excellent basketball in the last two months, and they sometimes appear to be running twice as far from their opponents.
It will still take some time for Pau Gasol to find his way into the court, but Sara’s good news is that there are no absences for the «Blaugrana».
Our prediction: Half Time / Full Time 2/2
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