It will be a season like no other before for LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne and its fans. A club with a long tradition that has taken part in European competitions for more than 60 years has throughout the decades clashed with the best European teams, but for the first time, it will now host all the European powerhouses in the same season.
Round 1: Back in the EuroLeague
It will be a moment that ASVEL has waited for an entire decade, its return to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. ASVEL last participated in 2009-10 campaign, but did not get past the regular season. That year regular season featured 10 games, while this year boats a record 34. The first opponent will be Olympiacos Piraeus, which last visited Villeurbanne in December 2003 and won 77-92 with a teenage Georgios Printezis on the bench.
Round 7: Welcoming the champs
These two teams first met almost 50 years ago, but have not played in the last 17 years. It is almost as long as the last time ASVEL welcomed a reigning EuroLeague champion to its home; ASVEL hosted Maccabi Tel Aviv in the 2004-05 season. ASVEL fans are hungry to watch their team compete against the elite European teams again. It is always a special night when the defending EuroLeague champion comes to town, and it will be exactly that when CSKA arrives at Astroballe.
Round 17: Real caps the first half of the season
ASVEL will complete the first half of the regular season with this game against Real Madrid. The two teams first played against one another in 1965 and ASVEL's first win over the Spanish powerhouse was back in 1976. They last dueled in the 2002-03 EuroLeague season. Hosting major European powerhouses will certainly be a big thing for ASVEL this season and the arrival of the 10-time champion will be among the biggest treats.
Round 27: The familiar faces of Valencia
There is no team in the EuroLeague this season that has faced ASVEL as often as Valencia in recent years. Over the past eight seasons, ASVEL and Valencia have played six games and the home team has won each time. All of those games were in the EuroCup, including regular-season meetings last season. More than half dozen players on each side will square off once again, but this time in the EuroLeague, and when ASVEL plays host it certainly hopes the home winning trend against Valencia continues in Europe’s premier competition, too.
Round 31: Barcelona evokes memories from the golden years
Some of the clashes against Barcelona have a special place in the memories of ASVEL fans. While those clashes have been pretty one-sided in recent years - with Barcelona winning all six head-to-head games this century, ASVEL and Barcelona battled pretty hard during ASVEL’s golden years in the 1990s. That was especially the case in the 1996-97 season when ASVEL swept Barcelona during the group stage on the way to making its only EuroLeague Final Four appearance. However, Barcelona beat ASVEL in the Final Four semis 85-77 in Rome, Italy, ending its magical run. It might have been almost a quarter-century ago, but this is a classic in the hearts of ASVEL fans.