Real Betis v Barcelona prediction, preview, predicted XI and more | LaLiga 2019-20
Barcelona will travel to the Estadio Benito Villamarin to take on Real Betis and will be hoping to head back home with three valuable points.
The Catalans would be smarting from their last-gasp loss to Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals and they would be hoping to bounce back by picking victory against Los Verdiblancos.
Real Betis v Barcelona Head-to-Head
Real Betis have faced the Blaugrana on 27 occasions in the past, with Barcelona emerging victorious on most occasions.
The defending champions have won 18 and drawn five fixtures against Real Betis, scoring 82 and conceding 35. The reverse fixture between the two sides ended in a convincing 5-2 victory for the Catalans at Camp Nou in August.
Real Betis form guide: DLWDL
Barcelona form guide: WLWDL
Real Betis v Barcelona Team News
Barcelona were rocked by the news that star striker Luis Suarez has been sidelined for four months with a knee injury sustained at the start of January and further bad news came when it was announced that Ousmane Dembele has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring problem.
Goalkeeper Neto also recently sprained his ankle but could be fit in time to take his place on the bench for the clash while Gerard Pique was substituted late on against Bilbao with what appeared to be a muscle problem although the defender has downplayed its severity.
Injuries: Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele
Suspension: Gerard Pique (Yellow Card suspension)
Real Betis v Barcelona Predicted XI
Barcelona Predicted XI: Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Clement Lenglet, Nelson Semedo; Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Sergi Roberto; Ansu Fati, Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi
Real Betis v Barcelona Prediction
With quality players like Nabil Fekir, Joaquin, and Loren Moron, Real Betis are capable of troubling anyone on their day and are much better than their 12th spot on the table suggests.
The Andalusians are one of the most entertaining sides in all of LaLiga but have not converted their chances when offered, while their porous defence has undone the work of their forwards regularly.
This fixture would see newly appointed Quique Setien return to the stadium where he made a name for himself, with the 60-year-old having managed Betis from 2017 to 2019, famously guiding them to a 4-3 victory over the Catalans at Camp Nou in November 2018.
There are also some other subplots, with Alba understudy Junior Firpo having represented Los Verdiblancos before his summer switch, while current Betis stars Carlos Alena and Christian Tello also have links with Barcelona.
Recent results on the field have seen Barcelona struggle and reports off it suggest that all is not well within the club, with rumours of player rifts, as well as injury problems threatening to unravel the season.
However, in Lionel Messi, the Catalans have a bonafide gamechanger and the Argentine international is more than capable of deciding any fixture on his won and given the attacking impetus of both sides, a lot of goals are guaranteed to be scored but Barcelona should have enough to prevail.
Verdict: Real Betis 2-4 Barcelona
Published 07 Feb 2020, 19:46 IST