Tonight FC Barcelona have the first of two chances to wrap up the Liga Endesa. Xavi Pascual’s side beat Real Madrid in game three and could secure their 18th championship with a win this evening at the Palau.
The Catalans have the mental edge, as confirmed by the three players that spoke to the media on Wednesday. They’re expecting a very different game tonight to the one on Tuesday, but know that as long as they can do their job right, then the Palau will do the rest. Home advantage is always an especially important factor in games against Madrid.
The biggest doubt for this evening is Erazem Lorbek. The Slovenian has twisted his ankle and it will not be clear whether he’s in condition to play until moments before things get under way. Marko Todorovic is prepared to step into his shoes, while the rest of the team are all fully fit. Navarro is on fine form, Nachbar is shooting the threes in style and Oleson is back to his best since the semi-final series with Valencia. With a bit more consistency on the paint, Barça have every chance of sealing the title tonight.
Real Madrid, like Barça, are experts at bouncing back from defeats. We can expect the side coached by Laso, who opted not to train at the Palau this morning, to do all they can to enforce a rubber match back in their own pavilion. Sergi Llull and Bouroussis are leading their offence at the moment, and it will take another majestic performance from Barça to contain their scoring prowess.
But Rudy is having ankle problems, while a long season looks to be taking its toll on Sergio Rodríguez. Things are not one hundred per cent in the Madrid camp, and they’ll need to get back their A-game if they want to prevent this night from being a glorious one for FC Barcelona.