Friday, May 24, 2019

Prediction: Real Betis vs FC Barcelona

Juan Pablo Aravena in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 16 Mar 2019

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Verdict: Over 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 11/25

Bookmaker: 888sport

Two teams with different objectives are set to miss in this Sunday match in La Liga. Betis will aim to take another step towards a potential European qualification, while Barcelona look as massive favourites to win the league title and they aim to extend their lead at the top of the standings in this win. This match will kick-off on Sunday at 19:45 GMT.

Real Betis

Los Verdiblancos haven’t exactly set the world on fire with their home performances, since they have won just six of their 14 home outings during the current La Liga campaign (W6, D4, L4). However, they do look at their best in the second half of games since they have netted 13 of their 18 home LL strikes during the second half. Therefore, Betis’ main issue heading into this game would be to find a way to stop Barcelona’s onslaught during the first 45 minutes. Even though they will be playing at home in the Benito Villamarin Stadium, winning is far from certain for them here especially considering the opponent they will go up against. But Betis remain quite close to reach the European spot for a Europa League berth ahead of the 2018-19 season. Securing a statement win over Los Blaugranas would be huge for them, and they already know what is like to top Barcelona since they defeated them 4-3 in the reverse fixture this season. Can they pull the upset once again?

Team News

Betis have one confirmed absentee since Junior Firpo has been ruled out with a muscle injury.

Plus, Antonio Barragan (foot) and Francis Guerrero (ankle) have been listed as doubtful. Both will be assessed a few hours before kick-off time.

FC Barcelona

Betis are looking to clinch a European berth, but Barcelona look far more comfortable on the Liga standings. Even though there are 11 games left to be played in Spain’s top-flight, Los Blaugranas already own a seven-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid, and they have a golden chance to extend their lead to 10 points after Los Colchoneros lost this Saturday against Athletic Bilbao. Even if Barca do not get a positive result in this match, they’re still in a good position. The numbers do not lie here, and Barcelona own the best attack in La Liga with 69 goals scored while also conceding just 26 matches, the fourth-best mark in La Liga. Can they take another step towards a potential league title while winning against a team that already defeated them during the reverse fixture? At least on paper, they should have good chances to do so.

Team News

Barcelona have two injured players entering this game. Rafinha will miss the entire season with a knee problem, while Ousmane Dembele is dealing with a knock.

Meanwhile, Thomas Vermaelen is dealing with a calf problem. But it seems he won’t be available for this game, either.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Keeping an eye on Lionel Messi is a must, and the Argentinian has delivered in past matches against Real Betis. Messi has netted a brace in three of his last five matches against Real Betis.
  • Three of Betis’ last five league matches have seen under 2.5 goals. Only two of those have seen both teams scoring.
  • On Barcelona’s end, they own the same rio of three out of their last five league matches having a maximum of two goals.
  • Betis might have won the most recent meeting between both sides. However, Los Blaugranas have won three of their last five matches against Los Verdiblancos (W3, D1, L1).

Conclusion

Barcelona are massive favourites entering this game, but they shouldn’t take Betis for granted. Especially after their loss in the reverse fixture.

Expect this game to feature at least three goals in total.

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 11/25

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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