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

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

Real Madrid will be looking to make it back-to-back wins in Spain's top flight when they continue their domestic campaign at home to high-flying Real Betis on Saturday night.

Los Blancos, who are currently top of the La Liga table, will enter the match off the back of a 3-0 victory at Cadiz, while Betis occupy fifth position, level on points with sixth-placed Villarreal.

Match preview

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring against Cadiz in La Liga on April 21, 2021© Reuters

Real Madrid moved to the top of the table on Wednesday evening courtesy of a three-goal success at Cadiz, where Karim Benzema scored a brace for the reigning champions in a strong performance.

Zinedine Zidane's side were missing a number of important players against the promoted outfit but still managed to triumph in comfortable fashion, moving above Atletico Madrid to the summit.

Atletico will have the chance to reclaim first position when they take on Huesca on Thursday evening, and it does appear that four teams are currently in the race for the title, with Sevilla in third just three points off the summit and fourth-placed Barcelona five points behind with two games in hand.

Los Blancos must simply continue to win and see where that leaves them entering the final straight, but they will certainly have one eye on the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Chelsea next week.

There have also been plenty of distractions off the field, with the club's president Florentino Perez extremely vocal as he continues to fight for the European Super League, which has been left in disarray during an incredible few days in the history of football.

Real Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Betis will be looking to take advantage of any uncertainty in the Real Madrid ranks when they make the trip to the Spanish capital, and Manuel Pellegrini's side have plenty to fight for this season.

Indeed, a record of 14 wins, seven draws and 11 defeats from 32 matches has seen them collect 49 points, leaving them in fifth position in the table, level on points with sixth-placed Villarreal.

Betis are 16 points off the top four, meaning that a Champions League spot for next season is not a possibility unless something incredible happens, but they will be determined to finish as the best of the rest at this level of football.

Pellegrini's team have only lost once in La Liga since the start of February, although they have now played out four straight draws, including a 0-0 at home to Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday evening.

The Seville-based outfit have also been inconsistent on their travels this term, winning six, drawing two and losing seven of their 15 La Liga fixtures, which is the seventh-best record in the division.

Real Madrid La Liga form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Real Madrid form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

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

Team News

Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos has a stretch on January 14, 2021© Reuters

Madrid will again be without the services of Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy and Sergio Ramos through injury, while Federico Valverde is absent as he recovers from coronavirus.

Eden Hazard, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos were all absent against Cadiz on Wednesday evening but have a chance of being involved in this weekend's contest with Betis.

Dani Carvajal made his return from injury off the bench against Cadiz and could now come into the XI, while Marco Asensio is expected to feature in the front three alongside Vinicius Junior and Benzema.

As for Betis, Nabil Fekir will be unavailable due to the red card that he picked up against Athletic on Wednesday, meaning that there could be a start for Andres Guardado, while Dani Martin and Victor Camarasa are both injured for the visitors.

Diego Lainez is also pushing for a spot in the starting XI, with Pellegrini expected to make changes from the side that took to the field for the goalless draw.

Joaquin could also come into the starting team, but Borja Iglesias is likely to keep his spot in the final third of the field, with Loren Moron expected to be named on the bench once again.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Militao, Varane, Nacho; Carvajal, Casemiro, Kroos, Marcelo; Vinicius, Benzema, Asensio

Real Betis possible starting lineup:
Bravo; Emerson, Mandi, Ruiz, Moreno; Guardado, Rodriguez; Lainez, Canales, Joaquin; Iglesias

SM words green background

We say: Real Madrid 2-1 Real Betis

Betis are more than capable of making this a very, very difficult match for Madrid, who have had a lot of distractions off the field this week. Los Blancos were excellent against Cadiz on Wednesday, though, and we are expecting them to put another three points on the board this weekend.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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Raphael Varane pictured in December 2020
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1Atletico MadridAtletico36248463234080
2Real Madrid36239464273778
5Real Sociedad3615111054371756
6Real Betis361510114648-255
8Celta Vigo361311125153-250
9Athletic Bilbao361113124639746
18Real Valladolid36516153251-1931

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