MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 07:04:32| >> :600:374904:374904:
Jul 1, 2020 at 9pm UK at Benito Villamarin
Real BetisReal Betis

Bartra (5'), Fekir (45+1'), Rodriguez (81')
Fekir (45+3')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Moreno (7' pen., 30')
Moreno (69')

Preview: Real Betis vs. Villarreal – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's La Liga clash between Real Betis and Villarreal, including team news and predicted lineups.

Villarreal will be looking to further their charge for a top-four finish when travel to Seville to face off against Real Betis at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.

Betis, meanwhile, have little to play for with the season drawing to a close as they lie 13th in the table after 32 matches.

Match preview

Real Betis players complain to the referee during their match against Sevilla on June 11, 2020© Reuters

Betis were unable to build on last week's victory over relegation-threatened Espanyol as they suffered a 4-2 defeat to fellow mid-table side Levante on Sunday.

Alexis Trujillo took charge of his second game for Betis since Rubi's sacking a couple of weeks ago, but late goals from Sergio Canales and Juanmi were nothing more than mere consolations for a Betis side with little to play for at this stage of the campaign.

Los Verdiblancos have only picked up one win from five since the Spanish top flight returned to action and are firmly in mid-table obscurity as they lie 13th on 37 points.

Trujillo's side are 11 clear of the relegation zone and 12 adrift of the top six after 32 matches, although they will need to arrest their slump to avoid dropping any further down the table as Los Verdiblancos have only won two of their last 12 matches in the top tier.

Betis fans have every reason to be optimistic about their side's fortunes in midweek, however, as Los Verdiblancos are unbeaten in their last four at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.

Villarreal boss Javi Calleja pictured in November 2017© Reuters

Meanwhile, Villarreal are undoubtedly in with a shout of Champions League qualification as they condemned Valencia to a 2-0 defeat last time out.

First-half goals from Paco Alcacer and Gerard Moreno continued the Yellow Submarine's impressive form since the restart, and Villarreal have now taken 13 points from a possible 15 on offer following La Liga's return to action earlier in June.

Furthermore, the Yellow Submarine's defence has proved difficult to break down in the past couple of weeks, as Villarreal have kept four clean sheets from their last five outings in the Spanish top flight.

Javi Calleja's side reduced the gap to fourth-placed Sevilla to just three points following their fourth draw in succession against Real Valladolid, and Villarreal will be ready to pounce if Sevilla fail to win against a struggling Leganes side on Tuesday.

Sixth-placed Getafe will play host to Real Sociedad on Monday evening, and the home side can temporarily leapfrog Villarreal into fifth with a victory over their fellow European hopefuls.

Villarreal subjected Betis to a 5-1 thrashing when the sides last locked horns in September, with now-Lyon forward Karl Toko Ekambi bagging a brace for the Yellow Submarine at the Estadio de la Ceramica.

Real Betis La Liga form: WLDLWL

Villarreal La Liga form: LWWWDW

Team News

Real Betis defender Emerson pictured in action in March 2020© Reuters

William Carvalho is suspended for Betis after the Portuguese midfielder picked up his fifth booking of the season in the defeat to Levante, and Andres Guardado is likely to deputise in the middle of the park.

Joaquin has not featured for the last three games due to a muscular problem and is a doubt for this one, while full-back Emerson has served a suspension but could miss out with a shoulder complaint.

Trujillo has opted for a 3-4-2-1 formation for his first two games in charge, with Loren Moron and Borja Iglesias battling it out to spearhead the Betis attack.

As for Villarreal, Alberto Moreno and Manu Trigueros are back in the fold having served their suspensions against Valencia.

However, Calleja may be reluctant to make many changes to his side given their impressive performance at the weekend.

Ramiro Guerra is not too far away from a return to action, but Ramiro Funes Mori remains sidelined with an Achilles problem and is not expected to feature for the remainder of the campaign.

Real Betis possible starting lineup:
Robles; Mandi, Feddal, Sidnei; Barragan, Alena, Guardado, Moreno; Fekir, Canales; Iglesias

Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Asenjo; Gaspar, Albiol, Torres, Moreno; Chukwueze, Iborra, Anguissa, Cazorla; Moreno, Alcacer

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We say: Real Betis 1-3 Villarreal

Villarreal have gone from strength to strength since play was resumed and are firmly in the argument for a top-four finish. Betis are all but assured of their mid-table standing and have struggled for results in the past few weeks, so we are going for a comfortable away win.

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· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

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