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Real Betis v Barcelona

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Real Betis host Barcelona on Sunday evening, as Quique Setien returns to his old club looking to bounce back from Thursday’s Copa Del Rey defeat.

Real Betis v Barcelona – La Liga

Venue: Benito Villamarin Stadium

Date: 09/02/20

Kick Off: 20:00

TV Channel: La Liga

It has been a tough start to life at the Nou Camp for Quique Setien, as his side fell to a second defeat under his leadership as Athletic Club defeated Barcelona 1-0 on Thursday night in the Copa Del Rey, despite Setien opting for a full-strength side.

A win last weekend showed signs of promise for Barcelona, as Levante fell to a 2-1 defeat. Setien’s tactics showed signs that the players were beginning to understand and implement his philosphies, looking to retain the ball well as well as hit sides on the counter attack, and Setien himself looked to adapt to the players at his disposal. Ansu Fati shone as he started further forward, and Levante struggled to contain the youngster as he netted twice, and he certainly one to watch this weekend.

Barcelona will be keen to keep the pressure on league leaders Real Madrid, but without Luis Suarez to lead the line, their lack of options up front is beginning to show, and without Gerard Pique at the back through suspension, they may struggle to contain the Betis attack.

Betis come into the game sat 12th, and they are without a win in three. A draw to Eibar last time out came courtesy of a thunderbolt from Nabil Fekir, and they will be confident that their attacking threat should be able to create chances against a defence missing their talisman, with Borja Iglesias leading the line. Fekir has been a key player for Betis this season, netting five, whilst Loren Moren and Joaquin have chipped in with eight and seven goals respectively.

With 30 goals for and 34 against, goals in Betis games have flowed, and coming up against such a strong attack, it would be no surprise to see this being the case once again, but with the added edge of Setien returning to his former club, it should be a lively affair, and Betis will be confident of upsetting a transitioning Barca side.

Team News:

Juanmi and Andres Guardado are injured for Betis, whilst Zouhair Feddal is suspended.

Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Neto are all injured for Barcelona, whilst Gerard Pique is suspended

Head to Head:

Real Betis Wins: 9

Draws: 9

Barcelona Wins: 27

Match Stats:

Real Betis have won only one of their last 17 games against Barcelona

Real Betis have only won one of their last six games

Both Real Betis and Barcelona have scored a league-high 8 goals in the opening 15 minutes of the games this season

Team Form:

Real Betis Last 5 La Liga: L  D W L W

Barcelona Last 5 La Liga: W D W L W

Suggested Bets:

With Barcelona’s defence without Pique, as well as the open, expansive style being employed by Setien, I would expect to see both sides get on the scoresheet. Betis themselves have shown a tendency to concede goals, and even without Suarez, the likes of Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann are difficult to overlook. Both Over 2.5 goals and both teams to score are priced at 4/7, and I would be considering both.

With Messi odds on, a different approach is required to pick a better value goalscorer, and fresh from netting twice last week, Ansu Fati stands out at 13/5. It Betis play their typical open football, Fati is well suited to causing problems in behind on the break, and as he showed against Levante, is on the same wavelength as Messi, so this is an avenue to watch out for. The teenage star is standing out and should be given an opportunity to impress once again.

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