Real Madrid seeks to remain solid at home in the complicated Kaunas
MADRID, 14 Dic. (EUROPA PRESS) –
Real Madrid will try to continue showing its current strength as a visitor in the Regular Phase of the Euroleague 2022-2023 in another always complicated outing this Thursday at the Zalgirio Arena (7:00 p.m.) where an always competitive Lithuanian Zalgiris Kaunas awaits them despite being in a hesitant moment.
The Madrid team faces its second date of a European doubleheader away from home encouraged by its hard-fought victory (64-68) against German Bayern Munich, a team from the bottom of the table that showed that winning away from home in the highest competition continental is not without its difficulties.
However, so far, the ten-time European champion is solving them and it is far from the WiZink Center where he is showing himself more regularly, as his current balance of results in the Euroleague indicates. Of his four defeats, three have been in what should be his fortress and it was only as a visitor, in his second outing to the Palau Blaugrana where he had a triple to win.
Since that day, the team coached by Chus Mateo has succeeded in its other four trips with victories that join the inaugural against Panathinaikos, although, curiously, except in the most complicated theoretical one, to the field of leader Fenerbahce, where they won with authority (71-85), in all the others he could not relax almost until the sound of the horn.
And Real Madrid doesn’t expect too many facilities on a ‘hot’ stadium like the Zalgirio Arena, where its enthusiastic crowd tends to pack a lot, especially when a major rival like the Real Madrid team visits it, which last season, when He was in his sporting crisis, he stayed at 47 points and lost clearly (68-47).
In addition, the Lithuanian team was already able to beat Barça in Kaunas (73-72), but now they are somewhat stuck at the moment after conceding three consecutive defeats, two of them at home and without presenting resistance to Anadolu Efes and Panathinaikos. On Tuesday he couldn’t stop the intoxicated Red Star either, in a match where he couldn’t count on important players like Ignas Brazdeikis and Lukas Lekavicius.
The second, with a broken rib, is ruled out for the visit of Chus Mateo’s team, but the first, who was out due to illness, could be ready to reinforce the offensive options of Kazys Maksvytis’ team where point guard Keenan Evans is his best man with more than 15 points per game.
Real Madrid, for their part, will continue without the important competition of Argentine forward Gaby Deck and hope to have an improvement at the offensive level compared to their triumph at the Audi Dome, where they missed a better version of Dzanan Musa. He will also have to apply himself in losses and close his defensive rebound against a Zalgiris that has one of his virtues in offensive sacks.
“It’s a dangerous team and at home it’s tough, so we’re going to have to fight more than them. Obviously, we have to defend well, but it’s important that we find good shots in our offensive options because they change you defensively. It’s a team that puts a lot of physicality and we have to attack well, put a lot of blocks, enter the ‘paint’ and distribute the game from there”, Mateo analyzed in statements to the club’s official media.
ZALGIRIS KAUNAS: Evans, Giedraitis, Ulanovas, Hayes y Smits –possible quintet inicial– Brazdeikis, Birutis, Lukosiunas, Dimsa, Cavanaugh, Butkevicius, Krivas y Kublickas.
REAL MADRID: Williams-Goss, Abalde, Musa, Cornelie and Tavares — possible starting quintet–; Sergio Rodriguez, Llull, Yabusele, Causeur, Hezonja, Poirier and Ndiaye.
–REFEREES: Lottermoser, Pastusiak and Obrknezevic.
–PAVILLION: Zalgirio Arena.