Khimki Moscow will take on Maccabi Tel Aviv in the first round of the EuroLeague at the Arena Mytishchi.
This game will be the first one in the new season. CSKA Moscow won the main prize last season and they will be the defending champions going into this season. The season was not that fruitful for the other team in Moscow. Khimki finished 13th in the regular season last time. Only three teams performed worse than them after the 30 games of the regular season. Khimki managed to claim just 9 wins in that time.
Despite being an important side historically, Khimki have not managed to replicate its past success recently. Their last league title came way back in 2008. Since then, they have managed to succeed in some cup competitions. In 2012 and 2015 Khimki managed to clinch the EuroCup championship. They beat Herbalife Gran Canaria in the 2015 final, which was their last major success.
Heading into the new season Khimki have a couple of former NBA players in their roster. Timofey Mozgov will stake claim to the center spot in the team. Alexey Shved is another player who has featured in the NBA before. Such experience will help Khimki as they hope to qualify for the playoff spots this season. Shved played great last season as Khimki were runners-up in the VTB United League. He was crowned as the MVP even though CSKA Moscow took the title.Embed from Getty Images
Compared to Khimki, Maccabi Tel Aviv performed better in the EuroLeague last season. Tel Aviv finished 10th in the regular season and missed the playoffs by a narrow margin. They had 14 wins, which was just one less than Zalgiris who qualified for the playoffs in the last possible position.
Tel Aviv also have some former NBA players who will suit up for them in the following season. Veteran Quincy Acy and Tarik Black will be some of the key names in their roster. Tel Aviv won the EuroLeague a couple of years ago when they lifted the crown in 2014. They beat Spanish giants Real Madrid in the final to claim the title. Madrid were huge favorites to win that game but Tel Aviv upset the odds. Tyrese Rice starred for Tel Aviv as they managed to get the win in overtime.Embed from Getty Images
Head-To-Head and Khimki Moscow vs Maccabi Tel Aviv Prediction
The recent head to head record between these two sides is not encouraging foe Khimki. Tel Aviv have won 6 out of the last 8 meetings between these sides. Their last meeting came in March in Moscow. Tel Aviv won the game 76-71, but Khimki gave them a good fight.
Maccabi Tel Aviv will go into the game as favorites to get the opening win. They have a stronger squad and the experience to get the better of Khimki. It will be close, and the points differential will be less than 10 points. Both sides should score more than 70 points, and Tel Aviv should get the opening win.