MX23RW : Tuesday, April 13 14:49:47| >> :120:8500:8500:
Feb 7, 2021 at 8pm UK at Estadio Benito Villamarin
Real BetisReal Betis
2-3
BarcelonaBarcelona
Iglesias (38'), Ruiz (75')
Ruiz (77')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Messi (59'), Ruiz (68' og.), Trincao (87')
de Jong (47'), Dembele (64'), Busquets (74')

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

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

Barcelona will be bidding to make it six straight victories in all competitions when they continue their 2020-21 La Liga campaign away to Real Betis on Sunday night.

Ronald Koeman's side booked their spot in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey with a 5-3 victory over Granada on Wednesday, but Betis lost on penalties to Athletic Bilbao to exit the competition.


Match preview

Real Betis head coach Manuel Pellegrini pictured on November 7, 2020© Reuters

Betis saw their Copa del Rey challenge come to an end on Thursday evening as they lost on penalties to Athletic, who had levelled the scores at 1-1 in the final exchanges through Raul Garcia.

Manuel Pellegrini's side will now switch their attention back to La Liga, where they are currently on a five-game unbeaten run, recording three wins during that spell against Huesca, Celta Vigo and Osasuna.

Betis have had their problems this season - suffering nine defeats from 21 La Liga matches - but a total of 30 points has left them in seventh spot in the table, just two points behind sixth-placed Real Sociedad.

The Green and Whites finished a disappointing 15th in Spain's top flight last term but are currently challenging for a potential Europa League spot, which would represent an excellent campaign.

A run of three wins from their last four La Liga matches means that Pellegrini's side will enter this match full of confidence, but they have lost each of their last four games with Barca.

Barcelona's Jordi Alba celebrates with Lionel Messi after the Copa del Rey clash with Granada on February 3, 2021© Reuters

As mentioned, Koeman's team advanced to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday courtesy of a 5-3 win over Granada; the Catalan giants actually trailed 2-0 entering the final exchanges but managed to score twice to force extra time before triumphing in impressive fashion.

Barca will face Sevilla in the semi-finals of the cup next week, while there is also a Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain on the horizon, with the two teams locking horns in Spain for the first leg of their last-16 tie on February 16.

The Catalan side cannot afford to shift their focus away from the league, though, as the gap to leaders Atletico Madrid is currently 10 points, with Diego Simeone's side also having a game in hand.

Second-placed Barca need a miracle to rise to the summit, but they are above champions Real Madrid in the table and have won each of their last five in the league, including a 2-1 success over Athletic last weekend.

The 26-time Spanish champions are actually unbeaten in Spain's top flight since the start of December, and it could still be a successful campaign for the club despite their troubles.

Real Betis La Liga form: LDWWDW
Real Betis form (all competitions): WWDWWL

Barcelona La Liga form: DWWWWW
Barcelona form (all competitions): LWWWWW


Team News

Philippe Coutinho in action for Barcelona on December 13, 2020© Reuters

Betis will again be without the services of Victor Camarasa and Dani Martin this weekend through injury, while Claudio Bravo and Marc Bartra remain injury doubts for the home side.

Diego Lainez, meanwhile, is still unavailable, having recently tested positive for coronavirus.

Pellegrini will definitely make changes from the side that started against Athletic in the Copa del Rey, with Joaquin, Emerson, Rodri and Loren Moron all in line to feature, but Guido Rodriguez should keep his spot in midfield, lining up alongside Sergio Canales in the process.

As for Barca, Ansu Fati, Gerard Pique and Philippe Coutinho remain on the sidelines through injury, while Sergi Roberto has suffered a fresh issue and will be absent until at least next month.

Sergio Busquets was suspended against Athletic last weekend but should return to the XI here, having been involved against Granada in the Copa del Rey, while Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann are again expected to feature alongside Lionel Messi in attack.

Sergino Dest and Clement Lenglet were both left out of the starting side against Granada but are likely to return for this match, while in-form teenager Pedri should also continue in the XI.

Real Betis possible starting lineup:
Joel; Emerson, Mandi, Ruiz, Moreno; Rodriguez, Canales; Joaquin, Rodri, Fekir; Moron

Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Alba; Pedri, Busquets, De Jong; Dembele, Messi, Griezmann


SM words green background

We say: Real Betis 1-2 Barcelona

Betis certainly have the talent to cause Barca problems, and it should be an open and entertaining clash in Seville; we are expecting the home side to score but are finding it difficult to look past Koeman's side, who must keep winning and hope that Atletico drop a number of points in the coming weeks.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals 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.Over 2.5:data


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Barcelona's Sergi Roberto in action with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos in La Liga at Camp Nou on December 18, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico MadridAtletico30207352203267
2Real Madrid30206453242966
3Barcelona30205569264365
4Sevilla30194744242061
5Real Sociedad301211747311647
6Real Betis30145114043-347
7Villarreal301113643331046
8Granada30116133650-1439
9Levante30911103739-238
10Celta Vigo30910114148-737
11Athletic Bilbao30910113933637
12CadizCadiz3098132745-1835
13Valencia30810123742-534
14Osasuna30810122536-1134
15Getafe3079142234-1230
16Huesca30512133145-1427
17Real Valladolid30512132741-1427
18ElcheElche30511142746-1926
19AlavesAlaves3059162447-2324
20EibarEibar30411152236-1423

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