Real Betis vs Barcelona

Real Betis and Barcelona are set to trade tackles in a high-stakes La Liga encounter at Estadio Benito Villamarin.

Real Betis’ depleted hopes of securing a European finish received a boost last weekend as a narrow 1-0 win against relegation-threatened Granada ended their abysmal six-game winless run in all competitions (D3, L3). However, a lack of consistency has plagued Betis’ La Liga campaign this term, with Manuel Pellegrini’s side registering back-to-back league wins only once in 2023/24. Bucking that trend against Barcelona is a tough ask, considering ‘Los Verdiblancos’ have lost their last four La Liga H2Hs by a combined score of 13-2, including a humiliating 5-0 defeat in the reverse fixture in mid-September. But Benito Villamarin could form a perfect backdrop to turn those fortunes around as Betis remain one of only three La Liga sides yet to lose a home league match this season (W6, D4).

As for Barcelona, an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Real Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana showpiece denied them a chance to add to their trophy cabinet. However, Xavi Hernandez’s men came from behind to beat lower-league Unionistas 3-1 in midweek Copa del Rey action to open a new avenue. As far as their La Liga title defense is concerned, anything other than victory in Andalusia would put them in a near-impossible situation as they already trail surprising leaders Granada by eight points. The ‘Blaugrana’ are one of just two La Liga teams yet to lose on the road this season, yet that stat could be deceptive, knowing five of their nine away league games have ended level (W4), including two of the last three.

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