Preview and Prediction
Blaugrana’s hope to lead the table might still be too far-fetched considering Atletico’s positive trend and consistency. Yet, their campaign is much better than earlier this season. Lionel Messi and Co are now sitting on the second of the table entailing Los Rojiblancos. This weekend, they are travelling to Andalusia to take on Real Betis, whose campaign this season has been improving too under the command of the former Manchester City boss, Manuel Pellegrini. They are aiming for their return to the European competition next season
The teams’ previous games
Real Betis secured a narrow win while playing host to Osasuna last weekend. It was a tight game before their winning goal finally came on 79th minute through the substitute Borja Iglesias’s flick.
Barcelona did another remontada in Copa del Rey midweek fixtures. They smashed Granada on the road 5-3. It was a thrilling comeback as Ronald Koeman’s men already two goals behind as Kenedy and Roberto Soldado gave the home side the lead. Barcelona had to wait for the last two minutes for finding the equaliser by Antoine Griezmann and Jordi Alba. These two figures were also the ones made the difference in the game beside el capitano Messi as they bagged a brace each. Another goal was scored by Frankie de Jong. Granada only managed to add one goal by Fede Vico’s penalty.
The ex Villareal boss, Manuel Pellegrini might still be employing 4-2-3-1 formation with the possible transition to 4-4-1-1. Either Borja Iglesias
s or Loren Moron’s form is still unsatisfactory upfront. The former has just netted two goals while the latter has only notched up one so far. The Paraguayan Antonio Sarabia is not exactly much better too with three goals in hand. No wonder that the Chilean commander counts on Sergio Canales more to score by playing wide supported by Nabil Fekir as the number ten. On the injury table, Victor Camarasa, Diego Lainez, and Marc Bartra are still ruled out here.
Ronald Koeman, on the other hand, is more concerned with their squad’s physical fitness and his key men’s fatigue after a Copa del Rey thriller against Canada. in the midweek. Messi could be brought on at the second half to break the deadlock. The Messiah’s position is likely to be given to Miralem Pjanic or Pedri in the line up while Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann will be operating on both flanks.
Players to watch
Manuel Pellegrini’s side counts on the former Real Madrid’s youngster, Sergio Canales to score as well as create spaces in the final third. He has scored seven goals and provided eight assists. Some other vital figures to watch are the former Barcelona winger, Chritian Tello with four goals and three assists, and the Frenchman Nabil Fekir.
Antoine Griezmann finally thrives lately. He seems to have found the right rhythm with Messi, although he has only registered ten goals in all competitions. Another notable name to watch this season is the Dutchman Frankie de Jong, who helped the Argentine in the build up.
Real Betis vs Barcelona Prediction
Nabil Fekir and Co still has potentials to stumble the Catalan side as their defensive frailty is worrying. They can be easily conceded from the counter attack scenario. Unfortunately, Betis’ defence is not always that solid either. They would have to work hard on closing down and block Barcelona’s lines of attack. It could be a goal galore here but the visitors remain the victor.