Two teams whose respective seasons took a turn for the worse in the last weeks will have the chance to get back on the winning track in Round 13 when LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (5-7) hosts AX Armani Exchange Milan (7-5). ASVEL is currently on a four-game losing streak; last week it fell in St Petersburg as Zenit took its first home win of the season, 75-70. Milan started the season on a roll, but has lost its last three games, including the last at home against Crvena Zvezda, 67-77. One of these two sides will manage to get a breath of fresh air this week. Milan will be missing Nemanja Nedovic and Vladimir Micov with injuries.
This will be the first time that these two teams face each other in the EuroLeague this century. When ASVEL played in the EuroLeague in the early 2000's, Milan was not a participant in the competition.
Livio Jean-Charles and Luis Scola are mobile big men who will be facing each other when the ball starts rolling on Friday. Jean-Charles has averaged 9.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game as a starter for ASVEL in over 21 minutes on court. For Milan, Scola has posted 11.3 points, 5.7 boards and 1.4 assists as a starter for Coach Ettore Messina. Two generations of power forwards will be protagonists in one of the main duels on the court.
Keys to victory: ASVEL
ASVEL has the weakest offense in the league and despite having started the season with good wins at home, it has dropped the last two games at Astroballe. To get back to the winning side, ASVEL will have to make better selections on offense, especially from beyond the arc, as the team has the second-weakest numbers in the league from that distance. The defense seems to be working well enough for the hosts, but they have to try to capitalize on it and transform it into points on the other side of the court.
Keys to victory: Milan
Injuries have been troubling Milan lately, with four losses in the last five games, but a trip to Lyon could be a good chance to start regrouping again. Milan outperforms ASVEL by almost 13 performance index rating points per game, which means that the visitors come into the game with better overall numbers than the hosts. Milan will have to try to impose its style, but it remains to be seen whether it will be capable of doing that despite the injuries at an arena that puts pressure on the visitors like few in the league.