Real Madrid is off to its worst start ever in the competition and looking for a home win to bounce back. Trey Thompkins (12.8 ppg.) has been Los Blancos' top scorer until now, followed by Sergio Llull (10.8 ppg.) and Walter Tavares (9.6 ppg.). FC Bayern Munich is on a four-game winning streak, which is a club record. Vladimir Lucic (17.2 ppg.) has been its pillar with help from Wade Baldwin IV (13.8 ppg., 2.6 spg.) and Jalen Reynolds (13.4 ppg., 6.6 rpg.). Expect high intensity and a lot of action at WiZink Center.
Lucic has been unstoppable, hitting shots from all angles with great percentages (75.0% 2FG, 65.0% 3FG), finishing above the rim and playing with very high intensity at both ends. Lucic needs all that in his matchup against Rudy Fernandez, who one of the best defensive players in the league, especially in double-team situations off the weak side. Fernandez also has great shooting range, impressive experience and can score in many ways. Real needs a team-oriented effort to stop Lucic, who ranks second in the EuroLeague in PIR (22.6).
These basketball teams have faced each other seven times. Real has a 5-2 record against Bayern. The German powerhouse, however, won the teams' last matchup by downing Real 95-86 in Munich on October 30, 2019. Greg Monroe led the winners with 18 points. Real, however, is 3-0 at home against Bayern. In their last meeting in the Spanish capital, Real beat Bayern 91-78 behind 15 points and 7 assists from Llull.
Keys to victory: Real
Real ranks 15th in scoring at just 75.2 points per game. That's almost 10 points less than last season (84.7 ppg.). It needs to improve its two-point shooting percentage (50.0% 2FG) right away and the best way to do it by being loyal to its basketball brand: securing defensive rebounds to run the floor and find easy points in transition. With Gabriel Deck sidelined, players like Fernandez, Jeffery Taylor and Alberto Abalde must take a step forwards to stop Lucic in what is a big key to this game.
Keys to victory: Bayern
Bayern has the second-best offense in the competition at 80.6 points per game despite ranking 11th in assists at 15.8. That means the offense is based on a lot of one-on-one opportunities with players like Lucic, Baldwin and Nihad Dedovic who can finish at the rim. Limiting Tavares down low is a key for any team playing against Real. Bayern has a frontcourt full of good athletes with Reynolds, JaJuan Johnson, Malcolm Thomas, who will take on Tavares in the paint. Being focused against a deep and talented opponent is one of the biggest keys.