FC Bayern Munich will cling to its last playoff chances when it welcomes FC Barcelona Lassa to Germany on Thursday. The guests, meanwhile, will be playing to climb into a tie for fourth place and finally punch their first ticket to the playoffs in three years. After having seemed a strong playoffs contender itself, Bayern lost five of its last six games and is now cannot afford to lose at home. Barça snapped its two-game losing streak against Herbalife Gran Canaria earlier this week and is now ready to make the final push for the playoffs.
Earlier this season
This will be the fourth time that these two teams meet in the EuroLeague, with Barcelona dominating the series 0-3. The last win for Barca came in Round 3 with an 83-73 home win. Ante Tomic led the way with 18 points and Chris Singleton added 15. For Bayern, Maodo Lo had 16 points. Barcelona's 62% shooting from the field and a 37-20 difference in rebounds were the keys for that final result.
Nihad Dedovic and Thomas Heurtel will be the protagonists of one of the biggest head-to-head duels in the game. Veteran Nedovic is having a solid season with Bayern averaging 10.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 27 appearances, almost all of them as a starter. Heurtel is also one of the main pillars for Barcelona, with his 10.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 27 appearances, half of them as a starter.
Keys to victory: Bayern
It's probably the last chance for Bayern to stay alive, so the hosts will have to give it their best effort if they want to survive. Both teams are in the lower half of the rankings in scoring, so the difference in the rebounds between both sides (29.3 to 35.2) could be a major factor in the game. The numbers for both teams are not that different, so it will be a matter of mentality, confidence and ability to execute the game plan.
Keys to victory: Barcelona
Barcelona is on the brink of the playoffs, and a win in Munich would confirm its passage. The guests have better defense overall, but the numbers reveal that both teams are close to each other. Barca should make the most of its edge in the rebounds battle.