Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul (9-1) and Real Madrid (7-3) come into their meeting at Ulker Sports and Event Hall in excellent form, with the hosts having lost just one game all season while the visitors have won their last five straight.
In-form giants clash when Fenerbahce, Real meet
The offseason saw Fenerbahce make several changes to its roster, including the appointment of a new head coach in Dimitris Itoudis, and since then it has been on fire. Not only does Fenerbahce have the best record in this season's Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, but it has the second-best rating on both offense and defense. In the last two games, Fenerbahce has been without Dyshawn Pierre due to injury, but Nigel Hayes-Davis has stepped up in his place. In fact, Hayes-Davis has been the team's leading scorer in those games, with 21 points at AS Monaco and 22 points at EA7 Emporio Armani Milan. Scottie Wilbekin will miss the Real Madrid clash due to injury, but Hayes-Davis, Nick Calathes, Johnathan Motley and Marko Guduric have shown that they can cause a lot of problems for Los Blancos.
Real Madrid also made a change at the head coach position over the summer, with Chus Mateo being promoted to replace Pablo Laso after serving as his assistant over the last eight years. The season got off to a rocky start for Los Blancos, which was 2-3 after Round 5, but since then it has won games in a row to improve to a record of 7-3. During that run, first-year forward Dzanan Musa has shown why he won the Spanish League MVP award last year by averaging a team-high 17.2 points and winning or sharing two MVP of the Round honors. Last time out against Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade, Real had five players score 14 points or more – Musa, Mario Hezonja, Gabriel Deck, Walter Tavares and Sergio Llull – and a similar scoring night from this quintet should put the team in a good position to come away from Istanbul with its sixth victory in a row.