Verdict: Over 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 8/15
Real Betis and Sevilla prepare to lock horns in El Gran Derbi this Saturday, the highly anticipated fixture in the calendar for both sets of fans. The hosts have already secured a place in Europe next week and will be out to deny their local rivals a chance to join them in the Europa League.
Trailing behind their local rivals Sevilla over the past couple of seasons, Real Betis are looking to grab more than just bragging rights this term. Los Beticos sit fifth in La Liga with 59 points to their name and at least a Europa League playoff spot already in the bag.
They are currently five points ahead of the bitter rivals and will be keen to extend the gap on Saturday and register yet another El Gran Derbi win this term, following the pulsating 5-3 victory from the reverse game in the first part of the season. The January triumph marked the end of a winless run for Real Betis – an eight-match long one. Betis had last beat Sevilla in 2014, but the tables seemed to have turned following years of Sevilla’s local dominance. Qique Setien has done a remarkable job with his squad this season. Betis captain Joaquin is enjoying an Indian summer at Benito Villamarin whereas the striker Sergio Leon will definitely be the one to watch in El Gran Derbi. The 29-year-old Spanish forward is the team’s top scorer with 11 goals from 30 La Liga games and is expected to return to the fold after spending his team’s last two matches on the bench.
Feddal, Gimenez and Junior are the three confirmed absentees with the latter ruled out for the rest of the season due to the lateral ligament sprain.
Adan, Barragan, Guardado and Guerrero are all huge selection doubts for the highly anticipated derby.
Los Rojiblancos looked sure to miss out on European football for the first time in last six season but the new surge of energy has helped the team put the most recent worries behind them and get closer to clinching a place in the Europa League.
Four months in charge were not enough for former AC Milan boss Vincenzo Montella to leave a lasting impression at Sevilla, despite leading the team into the quarter-finals of the Champions League by beating Manchester United. Domestic woes cost the Italian his job with Joaquin Caparros taking over the reins towards the end of April. The experienced tactician managed to galvanize the team who went on to beat Real Sociedad 1-0 before registering a tantalizing 3-2 win over Real Madrid this week. Los Rojiblancos will have gained a massive morale boost at a crucial time in the season and will head into the El Gran Derbi feeling rather positive and motivated to avenge the reverse 5-3 loss from January. Two games to go in the season, Sevilla are seventh which is a Europa League playoff spot but they will be looking to make a late push towards the group stage qualification knowing that Villarreal are just two points ahead.
Defenders Lionel Carole and Simon Kjaer remain the only unavailable players for the big derby match.
Caparros should have no other selection worries as Pablo Sarabia returned to the fold following his suspension.
Key Factors to Consider
- Betis could finish above neighbours for the first time since 2013
- Betis won only two of the last ten El Gran Derbi games
- Hosts could be without seven first-team players for the game
- Sevilla failed to win any of their last 7 matches on the road
- Los Rojiblancos last lost at Betis in 2006
Revitalised Sevilla head into the highly anticipated El Gran Derbi feeling energized following the crucial win over Real Madrid which extended their bid for Europa League places. Real Betis have enjoyed a generally positive season which put them above their local rivals for the first time since 2013 and they will want to avoid defeat in order to finish the season the best way possible.
Verdict: Over 2.5 goals
Best Odds: 8/15
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!