Levante will face Real Betis at home in Estadi Ciutat de Valencia on Tuesday, as the two sides go head to head in their final La Liga fixture of 2020.
Levante are gradually recovering from their disastrous start to the season that saw them sit in the relegation zone after the opening ten rounds with only eight points to their name. But the Granotas have picked up some steam in recent weeks, winning seven points from their previous four games and climbing up to 15th in the table.
In their previous fixture last Wednesday, Paco Lopez's men were away at Huesca where they drew 1-1, with Gonzalo Melero equalizing for them after a Javier Ontiveros penalty gave the home side the lead.
Real Betis, too, have had quite an inconsistent league campaign so far, as they sit ninth in the league with 19 points from 15 games. Despite being in the top half of the table, Manuel Pellegrini's team is extremely fragile in defense, conceding the most goals in La Liga so far this season with 26.
However, Los Verdiblancos did manage to keep a clean sheet in their previous game against Cadiz at home on Wednesday. Guido Rodriguez scored the only goal of the game late in the second half to give Betis only their third win this season at the Benito Villamarin Stadium.
That isn't indicative of any improvements in Betis' backline though, given Cadiz's struggles to find the net all season.
Levante vs Real Betis Head-to-Head
Levante will have recent history pinned against them when they take on Real Betis on Tuesday.
In the previous ten games between the sides in the Spanish Primera division, Betis have come out on top six times.Levante have won thrice, with the other fixture ending in a draw.
However, an encouraging statistic for Levante is that each of those three wins for them came in the previous two seasons, with Betis winning only one out of the four games between the two clubs in that period.
Levante form guide: D-W-L-W-D
Real Betis form guide: W-L-D-W-L
Levante vs Real Betis Team News
Jose Campana and Sergio Postigo are still out injured, while Enis Bardhi and Cheick Doukoure are also doubtful for Levante. But defender Oscar Duarte has returned to training after missing the last two games due to self-isolation. It remains to be seen if he is deemed fit enough to start on Tuesday, having just recovered from the coronavirus.
Injuries: Jose Campana, Sergio Postigo
Doubtful: Oscar Duarte, Enis Bardhi, Cheick Doukoure
Real Betis will travel to Valencia for the game against Levante with a very depleted squad. As many as five first team players are unavailable due to injuries, leaving Pellegrini with limited options for rotation.
The two most important cogs in the Andalusian club's system, Nabil Fekir and Guido Rodriguez, are both on four yellow cards going into Tuesday's game and risk suspension for the important derby against Sevilla next week.
Injuries: Marc Bartra, William Carvalho, Sidnei, Sergio Canales, Victor Camarasa
Levante vs Real Betis Predicted Line-up
Levante Predicted XI (4-4-2): Aitor Fernandez (GK); Coke, Rober Pier, Ruben Vezo, Carlos Clerc; Ruben Rochina, Gonzalo Melero, Nikola Vikcevic, Jorge de Frutos; Dani Gomez, Roger Mart
Real Betis Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Joel Robles (GK); Emerson, Aissa Mandi, Victor Ruiz, Juan Miranda Gonzalez; Guido Rodriguez, Andres Guardado; Joaquin, Nabil Fekir, Cristian Tello; Antonio Sanabria
Levante vs Real Betis Prediction
Historically, this has been a fixture where plenty of goals are scored. Half a dozen goals were scored when the two sides met last season at the Ciutat de Valencia, with Levante winning 4-2.
Looking at the visitors' defensive woes, it does seem like this game will follow the same suit. Betis have the attack to outscore Levante, but we are still tipping the home side to come out on top.
Prediction: Levante 3-2 Real Betis
Published 27 Dec 2020, 17:41 IST