FC Barcelona is a giant name in European sport, and the basketball side of the club is no different. As Gambling.com points out in a post offering tips on basketball betting, the Blaugrana and their rivals from Madrid mirror the better-known football sides by being considered annual favorites for European glory. Through the early part of this Euroleague campaign both sides have taken care of business, but Barcelona now faces a difficult challenge from a talented Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul squad while Madrid is facing a Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari team that has yet to win a game in the competition.
On Thursday Barcelona will take on the Turkish side loaded with talent, including 2011 NBA lottery pick Jan Vesely, 2014 first round pick Bogdan Bogdanović, and 2014 EuroCup MVP Andrew Goudelock. Despite all the talent on the roster, Fenerbahce is coming off a loss in their most recent Euroleague contest, having fallen to a Panathinaikos Athens team that tied a club record with 18 made three-pointers.
That loss dropped the 2013-2014 Turkish champs to 2-1 in Euroleague, ceding possession of first place in Group C to Barcelona alone. For their part, the Spaniards have run roughshod over PGE Turow Zgorzelec and EA7 Emporio Armani Milan after a two point victory over FC Bayern Munich in a tremendously well-played game that was their first of competition.
Barcelona is led by players like Ante Tomić, Juan Carlos Navarro, and rising star Alex Abrines. Following a successful Asian tour, Barcelona have been excellent no matter the competition, going 7-1 between league and European play, with the lone loss coming against FIATC Joventut in an 83-82 contest that came down to the wire. The game against Fenerbahce will serve as the first opportunity to rebound positively from that loss.
They will go to Turkey looking to continue that recent run of success and also add to their historic dominance against Fenerbahce. All-time, the Catalan club is 20-5 against their Turkish foes, and 8-4 in Istanbul, the site of this week’s contest. Adding another win will be tough against such a quality opponent, but doing so should go a long way in shaping the Euroleague hopes for the Blaugrana.
FC Barcelona and Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul play on Thursday, November 6 at 9:00 CET from Istanbul. It is the fourth Euroleague game of the 2014/2015 schedule for both teams.