The FinalEight, a phase of the EuropeLeauge which is just as attractive as it is demanding, is about to start. The champions have to play three matches almost consecutively - in Barça’s case, if it’s another team, all the matches would be played consecutively- to win the title.
Lodi, a team that boast an arena that holds 40,000 supporters -located in the north of Italy-, will be the hosts for the final phase of the competition. Gaby Cairo’s Barça come into the Final Eight eager to make history. In fact, up until now, they’ve won every competition they’ve played in.
How FC Barcelona come into the match
The Azulgranas come into the match with every player available. Sergi Panadero, who underwent surgery on his finger recently, has completely recovered and will be able to help his team-mates write another glorious chapter in the Club’s history book. It won’t be easy, however, seeing that they will have to play against tough rivals like Oliveirense, Liceo, Reus, Lodi -hosts-, Valdagno, Benfica and Candelaria - the only team that Barça were unable to beat this season.
Everyone will be looking to Beto Borregán in the Final Eight. The captain will play in his last European Cup tournament - now named the Europe League - and he’s eager to close out his brilliant career with another trophy. If Barça win, it means that Borregán would cap off his playing days with 10 European crowns.
The match, which will be the first of the tournament, will be played at 20:00 (Esport3 and Barça TV). Shortly after, the hosts take to the court against Tecnol Reus Deportiu.
Oliveirense is an atypical Portuguese team. According the the Barça technical staff, Barça’s rival play a fairly attack minded and open style - this could benefit Barça, even though in a single elimination round anything could happen.