Reigning Champions Real Madrid host Virtus Bologna in a EuroLeague encounter on Thursday at 7:45pm (UK time).
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Just as they are in football’s UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid are the kings when it comes to EuroLeague basketball. The reigning and record 11-time champions, Madrid have made a perfect start to this campaign as well, winning all five of their games so far to sit top of the table. Also sitting top of Spain’s Liga ACB, Madrid are 100% across all competitions this season, winning 13 of 13, including their most recent EuroLeague victory, 65-64 against arch-rivals Barcelona.
They made it back-to-back final appearances last season, overcoming Greek side Olympiacos 79-78 to extend their lead as the most successful club in the tournament’s history after finishing as runners-up to Anadolu Efes the year before.
Thursday will offer a strong test of their credentials, however, as they face a Bologna side that are unbeaten in their last five EuroLeague matches, after putting their opening day defeat to Zalgiris Kaunas firmly behind them. A win here for the Italians here would send them level with Madrid. Domesticallly, Bologna are joint-top of Serie A despite their shock defeat to Cremona at the weekend, while they beat 2021 and 2022 champions Anadolu Efes 93-83 in their most recent EuroLeague fixture.
It was a poor EuroLeague campaign last season, finishing 14th and 10 points behind the playoff places, but 2023/24 looks much brighter as the look to finish in the top eight during the regular season as a minimum.
The away team has won the last two meetings between these two teams, making it an even harder match to predict.
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