Two teams in need of wins will square off in Round 8 when Valencia Basket (1-6) hosts FC Bayern Munich (3-4) on Friday at La Fonteta. Valencia went back to the losing path last week against Panathinaikos just when it had managed to win its first game. The Spanish team needs wins soon if it wants to stay in the race. Bayern is faring quite better, but the German champs lost the last two games in a row, so they will travel to Valencia to try to get to the winning path again.
Despite combining 10 seasons in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, Valencia and Bayern have never faced each other at the top European stage, so this will be their first encounter.
It will be a battle of giants in La Fonteta when Bojan Dubljevic and Greg Monroe clash in the paint for this game. Veteran Dubljevic is still one of Valencia's main weapons with his 12.7 points, 6.1 boards and 1.4 assists per game off the bench. Monroe has taken the league by storm with Bayern averaging 14.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists to quickly become one of the most dominant players. On Friday night, two true forces of nature will be put against each other in a game with a lot at stake.
Keys to victory: Valencia
Valencia goes back home for another game in which it desperately needs a win. The only win so far arrived at La Fonteta, so the team will rely on its fans again to give them that extra edge. On paper, Bayern arrives with better numbers about everywhere, so the hosts will have to focus and prepare the game well. Valencia has the manpower, the talent and the experience, but needs players like Maurice N'Dour, Aaron Dornekamp and Guillem Vives to step up in offense to contribute with their points. Valencia has the fifth weakest offense in the league, a position it is not used to.
Keys to victory: Bayern
Coming into the game, it looks like Bayern has a bit of an upper hand over Valencia. The net difference between the offense and the defense of both teams is a +11 for Bayern. The guests also score more efficiently from the field and, even if not by a long shot, have better average PIR. If Bayern focuses on Dubljevic, Jordan Loyd and Fernando San Emeterio, it will have an eye on almost half of the point production of the hosts, so defense will be, again, key for Bayern to get back on the winning track where it was befor dropping two in a row.