The two teams tied at the bottom of the standings will face each other in Round 26 when Zenit St Petersburg hosts FC Bayern Munich on Thursday. Both teams are currently in the middle of four-game losing streaks. Zenit fell at home against ALBA Berlin last week by just 2 points as the team settles in the new system brought in by new head coach Xavi Pascual. Bayern also lost at home against league leader Anadolu Efes and will look to get back to its winning ways, something it has only managed to do once in the last 11 games.
Earlier this season
This will be just the second time ever that these two teams meet in the EuroLeague. In their previous encounter, Bayern pulled out a home win 77-69 in Round 13. Vladimir Lucic led the winners with 17 points and 5 rebounds with five players scoring 11 or more points for the winners. Former Bayern star Alex Renfroe led Zenit with 18 points in defeat.
Gustavo Ayon and Greg Monroe are two big men that lead their respective teams and will be the protagonists of one of the main duels on the court. Ayon has averaged 12.7 points and 5.3 rebounds for Zenit in 23 appearances this season. Monroe is in his EuroLeague debut season and leads Bayern with 11.9 points and 6.7 rebounds as a starter in 21 of his 25 appearances. They are the main contributors and will also look to be the ones to get their teams back to the winning ways.
Keys to victory: Zenit
This game against a direct opponent is a golden last chance for Zenit to try to catch the playoff train, which is just four wins away, with nine games left. The hosts have slightly better numbers than Bayern both in offense and defense, but they will also be still adapting to a new coach. Zenit shows more accuracy in field goals, but it will have to watch for Bayern's better numbers from beyond the arc. The hosts also have the worst numbers from the free-throw line in the league, so they will have to pay close attention to that if the game is a close one.
Keys to victory: Bayern
Bayern is in the same position as Zenit: this win could be the last chance to stay in the playoff race, plus it won in the first game so it has that little edge over the hosts. The visitors shoot better from behind the arc and the stripe, but Zenit does a bit better everywhere else, so Bayern will have to play a serious game after a long, tough trip which never helps.