MX23RW : Tuesday, May 18 12:25:11| >> :600:137631:137631:
Apr 21, 2021 at 7pm UK at Estadio Benito Villamarin
Real BetisReal Betis
0-0
Athletic BilbaoAthletic Bilbao

Rodriguez (55'), Guardado (82'), Bravo (88')
Fekir (11')
FT

de Marcos (43'), Nunez (90+5')

Preview: Real Betis vs. Athletic Bilbao - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's La Liga clash between Real Betis and Athletic Bilbao, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Real Betis host Athletic Bilbao at the Estadio Benito Villamarín on Wednesday evening knowing that three points against the Basque side could see them entrench their fifth-place La Liga credentials.

This encounter will be the first league game Athletic have played since their 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in the final of the Copa del Rey, the team's second final defeat in the space of just two weeks.


Match preview

Real Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Following months of inconsistency and unpredictability for Betis this season, things have really started to click in recent weeks and Manuel Pellegrini appears to have got his groove back.

Betis have lost just once in their last nine league outings and there's no doubt that Pellegrini will be eyeing up another three points from this most unfortunate Athletic side.

In their 2-2 draw against Valencia last time out, Betis were unlucky not to come away from the tie with all three points, with Nabil Fekir and Sergio Canales both finding the back of the net.

Betis are looking up the table and will be desperate to finish the campaign with as many points on the board as possible.

Athletic Bilbao Marcelino pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Athletic boss Marcelino will aim to put his side's Copa del Rey woes behind him as the team approach this tie.

Despite humiliating back-to-back cup final defeats, Athletic still have a lot to celebrate this year and there will be many in Bilbao who will be keen to watch their team get a win under their belt.

Currently 11th in the table, Athletic have lost just one league game in their last ten, winning two and drawing seven. In fact, Marcelino's men have scored just three goals in their last five league fixtures.

After a tough run of fixtures, Marcelino's key performers will no doubt be tired, but the fitness of the likes of Iker Muniain, Inaki Williams and Alex Berenguer will be integral to the side's success this week.

Real Betis La Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D

Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D

Athletic Bilbao form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L



Team News

Atletico Madrid's Kieran Trippier in action with Real Betis' Cristian Tello in La Liga on October 24, 2020© Reuters

Pellegrini is likely to make a number of changes ahead of this tie in a bid to keep the team fresh and firing on all cylinders.

It is unlikely that, at 39 years of age, Betis veteran Joaquin will start this game, as he did against Valencia, and Borja Iglesias could deputise for him.

Marc Bartra could also be reinstated at the heart of the defence.

Marcelino is also expected to bring in some fresh faces ahead of this tie and the likes of Asier Villalibre, Mikel Vesga and Yuri Berchiche could all feature.

Absentees include Peru Nolaskoain and Oier Zarraga, who are both injured.

Real Betis possible starting lineup:
Bravo; Emerson, Mandi, Bartra, Moreno; Rodriguez, Canales, Iglesias, Fekir, Tello; Juanmi

Athletic Bilbao possible starting lineup:
Simon; De Marcos, Alvarez, Martinez, Lekue; Ibai, Vesga, Lopez, Morcillo; Sancet, Villalibre


SM words green background

We say: Real Betis 2-0 Athletic Bilbao

Betis have really upped the ante in recent weeks, and we think Pellegrini's men have the upper hand on Athletic at this point in time. We are going for a 2-0 win with goals from Canales and Fekir.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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How you voted: Real Betis vs Athletic Bilbao

Real Betis
55.0%
Draw
21.7%
Athletic Bilbao
23.3%
60
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Real Betis attacker Nabil Fekir in action for France in September 2020
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rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico MadridAtletico37258465244183
2Real Madrid37249465273881
3Barcelona37237784384676
4Sevilla37235952331974
5Real Sociedad3716111058382059
6Real Betis371610114748-158
7Villarreal371513959421758
8Celta Vigo371411125354-153
9Athletic Bilbao371113134640646
10Granada37136184765-1845
11Osasuna371111153747-1044
12CadizCadiz371110163456-2243
13Valencia371012155053-342
14Levante37913154455-1140
15AlavesAlaves37911173656-2038
16Getafe37910182843-1537
17Huesca37712183453-1933
18ElcheElche37712183255-2333
19Real Valladolid37516163355-2231
20EibarEibar37612192951-2230

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