Euroleague Final Four Preview, Odds and Predictions
May 17, 2018
It’s the semi-final stage of the Euroleague basketball, with Fenerbahce Ulker facing Zalgiris Kaunas and CSKA Moscow up against Real Madrid at the Stark Arena in Belgrade.
Defending champions Fenerbahce are very much the favourites against their Lithuanian opponents in the first semi-final, although it should be noted that Zalgiris have already accounted for Olympiakos Piraeus (3-1) at the quarter-final stage.
It’s by no means a given in a single game and Sarunas Jasikevicius is a great coach, but Fenerbahce probably have the quality and experience to account for Zalgiris.
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The second semi-final looks even harder to call, with very little to choose between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid.
CSKA were dominant in topping the table over the regular season, won the title in 2015-16 and are 6/4 favourites with 888Sport to reclaim the title this season. However, they have lost at the semi-final stage in four of the previous five seasons.
CSKA also have Kyle Hines and Nando De Colo back after injuries and their condition could be key here. For their part, Madrid are boosted by the return of Sergio Llull. Selecting a winner in this game is almost toss of a coin stuff, but CSKA’s greater consistency could see them edge it.
As for the final itself, Fenerbahce could achieve the rare feat of making a successful defence of their title. It would be a 10th Euroleague crown for coach Zeljko Obradovic should Fenerbahce prevail, which would be fitting for someone whose career began in Belgrade.