Tonight is a big night at the Palau Blaugrana as a Euroleague El Clásico, with tip-off set for 8.45pm CET, gives FC Barcelona the chance to avenge a painful 24-point loss here to eternal rivals Real Madrid back in early February. Although another defeat would not sit well, it would not affect Barça’s position in the standings as, with two games left in this phase, they are guaranteed to finish in no worse than second place, assuring them home-court advantage in the quarterfinals.
Real Madrid are the current leaders with a record of 10 wins and two losses while averaging 87.2 points per game. Rudy Fernandez in their top scorer with 12.4 points per game but has a supporting cast of players in Felipe Reyes, Sergio Llull, Sergio Rodriguez, Gustavo Ayón or Jaycee Carroll who can also create mismatches and help change the flow of a game. This will be the fifth game between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid this season, with the all-whites having won three of the first four clashes. In European competition, however, Barça have a 12–9 all-time record versus Madrid.
With Justin Doellman out due to a right calf injury, Barça would love to put on a show for their fans by beating their arch-enemies in their last home game of the Euroleague Top 16. With home court advantage for the quarterfinals already sewn up, the focus will be on whether Barça can take down a team that have beaten them three times already this season. With both teams assured spots in the quarter-finals it is highly feasible that they’ll face each other again this season and a win tonight would provide plenty of optimism as Barça chase the continental title.
The game will be shown live in Catalonia on Esport 3 and throughout Spain on Canal+ Deportes.