The first matchup between the two sides occurred in 1978, but since the start of the EuroLeague format in 2000, the teams only met twice as Maccabi swept both contests in the historic 2004/05 season.
"Tomorrow we face a very athletic team that plays with high energy, that hustles on both ends of the court, and that shows they are a dangerous team because they've recorded five wins this season", Said coach Giannis Sfairopoulos at the pre-game press conference. "On the other end, we come into this game with three straight losses (2 EuroLeague, 1 State Cup), so we need to react, to fight harder on the court, and play better defense because, in the last couple of games, our defense wasn't enough. Our primary goal now is to add another W to our win column, it means we need to focus on our side and show something different on the court with the help of our fans that are expected to sell-out the arena".
"We don't know how Tarik Black, Omri Casspi, and Elijah Bryant, who sprained his ankle at practice. I'm not very optimistic that they will play, and if they practice without pain, we will use them", Answered Sfairopoulos about the injury status of his players. "If they do feel pain, I don't want to risk a bigger injury. We don't want to risk them and have them be out longer".
"Villeurbanne is a good offensive team that attacks strong the offensive boards, we need to put pressure on their ball handlers and make them uncomfortable right away, and that will help our offense as well", Said Nate Wolters to the reporters. "We have to get back to what we were doing defensively, as we haven't been as good, giving up 90+ points. We are playing at our home court, and hopefully, we will play with energy, feed off our fans, and get back to our principals of fighting and playing hard".