Zenit at Fenerbahce
Time: 6:45 PM CET
It's been a rough go of it this season for both Fenerbahce and Zenit, and both enter Round 15 coming off back-to-back losses. It would not have been difficult to envision a reshaped Zenit squad struggling in its first EuroLeague campaign, but few would have predicted a loaded Fenerbahce team would be 5-9 nearly halfway through the season. Reigning MVP Jan Vesely will miss another game Thursday, but Fenerbahce will still have top-notch guards Nando de Colo and Kostas Sloukas available. Zenit will be led by the likes of Will Thomas and Gustavo Ayon, even if the latter does not start. Fenerbahce has the clear edge on paper, and Zenit will need to be on top of its game if it hopes to pick up its first road win since Round 5.
Zenit Saint Petersburg
Mateusz Ponitka - OUT - Concussion
12/7 10:52 PM IST - Ponitka will miss up to three weeks with a concussion, according to Zenit's official Twitter account. Ponitka missed Rounds 9 and 10 due to injury, and he is now facing his second multi-game absence of the season. Ponitka has been a regular in Zenit's rotation this season, so his absence will open up opportunities for some of his teammates.
Andrey Zubkov - OUT - Thigh
10/7 10:41 PM IST - Zubkov will be out several months after injuring his thigh in Zenit's Round 1 loss to ALBA Berlin, according to euroleague.net. A timetable for Zubkov's return has not been established just yet, but he is facing a lengthy recovery period, and it's possible he does not take the court again until 2020. Zubkov did open the season with a spot in Zenit's rotation, so his absence figures to open up opportunities for some of his teammates.
Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul
Jan Vesely - OUT - Knee
12/17 3:38 AM IST - Vesely (knee) will not play Tuesday against Panathinaikos, according to Fenerbahce's official website. It's still not clear how long Vesely will be sidelined, but he will miss a fifth straight Round Tuesday, and chances are he will miss another with his club's next EuroLeague game coming just two days after Tuesday's.
Zenit Saint Petersburg Probable Starters
Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul Probable Starters
(Captain) Nando de Colo, FEN - de Colo was unable to play in Rounds 8-11 due to an injury, but he appears to be back in the swing of things now, averaging 31 minutes, 13.0 points, 2.5 assists, and 2.0 steals over the last two games. He has scored in double figures in every game this season, and it was only two months ago he put up a career-high 39 points.
Gustavo Ayon, ZEN - Ayon was in the starting lineup Tuesday for the first time since Round 9, but whether he is starting or coming off the bench in Round 15, he's still a good bet to be Zenit's top producer. Ayon is averaging a stellar 13.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.4 steals in 13 appearances this season.
Derrick Williams, FEN - Williams failed to score in double digits last week, but that was just the second time he has done that since Round 5, and he is averaging 12.8 points – while chipping in 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals – over that span.
Will Thomas, ZEN - Thomas has started regularly in his first season with Zenit, and with second-leading scorer Mateusz Ponitka out Thursday, he will be counted on to pick up the pace in the scoring department. Thomas scored 15 points in Zenit's Round 14 matchup with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Grand league Combination
de Colo, Ayon, Williams, Voronov
Small league Combination
de Colo, Ayon, Williams, Thomas