Sunday, September 15, 2019

Prediction: FC Barcelona vs Real Betis

Verdict: Barcelona to score over 2.5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

The 2019-20 La Liga season began one week ago for FC Barcelona, but it didn’t started as they would have expected it. Los Blaugranas lost to Athletic Club in their season opener, but they will aim to bounce back in their home opener this Sunday against Real Betis. Los Verdiblancos also lost their first game of the season. Kick-off for this match will be at 20:00 hrs BST.

FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona won’t have their star player, Lionel Messi, for the second consecutive week but that shouldn’t be an excuse for their lackluster effort in the season opener. Ernesto Valverde’s men looked quite poor against Athletic Bilbao last week and, aside from a few isolated plays from Antoine Griezmann, Los Blaugranas lacked intensity and quality in the final meters. However, Barcelona felt quite comfortable at home during the 2018-19 season and that shouldn’t change here. Barcelona owned a W15, D3, L1 mark at home during last season, ranking as the best home side in 2018-19 by a wide margin. They scored an impressive 51 goals at home last term (well over 2.5 per game) and only conceded 17 – less than one per match. Can they sustain that solid approach on both sides of the ball entering this game?

Team News

As stated above, Los Blaugranas won’t have Messi due to a calf injury. But he’s not the only absentee for Barcelona here.

Luis Suarez (calf), Neto (hand) and Ousmane Dembele (hamstring) have also been ruled out ahead of this contest.

Real Betis

Just like Barcelona, Real Betis also lost in their season opener as they stumbled to a 1-2 defeat at home against Real Valladolid this past weekend. That was a result that wasn’t on anyone’s plans, and things won’t get easier when it comes to them trying to get a positive result out of the Camp Nou Stadium. In the last five H2H matches Betis registered only one win while losing three times (W1, D1, L3). Plus, Betis lost 10 of their 19 away matches during the 2018/19 season, winning just six times and ended on a W1, L4 run in their last four league matches on the road. Perhaps their lone silver lining is the fact that Los Verdiblancos registered a win in their previous league trip to this venue (4-3 win back in November last year), but that has been their lone win at Camp Nou this century. Can they make it two in a row, or will they extend their losing run to two games to open the season?

Team News

Joel Robles is suspended for Real Betis ahead of this match.

To make things even worse, Borja Iglesias is not expected to play here due to an ankle injury.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Four of Barça’s last five LaLiga home games produced under 2.5 goals.
  • Betis were losing – without scoring a single goal – at half-time in five of their last six league away games.
  • Nine of the last 10 H2H matches have featured at least one goal after the 80th minute.
  • Betis have seen a red card in two of their last three league games. Will that trend continue here?
  • Barcelona, on the other hand, have been on fire at home. They have won their last seven home games in LaLiga play.

Conclusion

Despite Barca’s recent tendencies of games without many goals at home, this one will be different. Expect the visitors to come out swinging following their loss in the season opener. Therefore, I’d expect Los Blaugranas to score at least three goals here.

Verdict: Barcelona to score over 2.5 goals – yes

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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