10 February 2020
Rocked by 1-0 Copa del Rey elimination to Athletic Bilbao during midweek, Barcelona will be looking to bounce back and post their first La Liga (LL) away win in 2020 when they take on Real Betis at the Estadio Benito Villamarín this weekend.
The hosts have started the new calendar year with a whimper rather than a bang, pulling off just one win in four league matches since the turn of 2020 (D2, L1), with three of those fixtures featuring under 2.5 goals. Yet, they’ve won three out of their previous four LL home games (L1), scoring two goals or more in the first 45 minutes in two of those successes, although failing to keep a clean sheet in each. Indeed, the Estadio Benito Villamarín has been a venue of ‘high-scoring affairs’ so far this season, with all but one of Betis’ 11 LL fixtures held here seeing both teams score and nine producing 3+ total goals. Another productive game is on the cards for sure, as seven of their previous nine top-flight home H2Hs with Barcelona produced over 2.5 goals, with six seeing four or more.
Meanwhile, the visitors have struggled for form and consistency after the winter break, picking up just four wins in seven competitive matches since the turn of the year (W4, D1, L3). Five of their seven results (win/loss) during that seven-game sequence came via a narrow one-goal margin, with four seeing the winner on the day keep a blank sheet. Not exactly the best away performers, the Catalans have failed to secure a triumph in all three of their previous LL road trips (D2, L1), conceding the opening goal and subsequently allowing precisely one more in each. The reigning Spanish champions struggle on the road so much that only 32.61% (15) of their 46 LL points came away from the Camp Nou. It gets worse for Quique Setien’s men, considering they’ve managed just 15 of the 52 total league goals away from home (28.85%).
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