Verdict: Home Win
Best Odds: 6/4
Having successfully avoided meeting any of Spain’s two biggest clubs in the Copa del Rey semi-final, Real Betis and Valencia will both relish their chances of booking their place in the big final.
Dream of a Copa del Rey final on their own ground is just two steps away from Real Betis who will need to find the way to get past Valencia in two legs of the semi-final. Betis are eager to put an end to Barcelona’s dominance in the competition and will be keen to replicate the 2005 success which was the last time they lifted the Copa del Rey trophy after beating Osasuna.
Los Beticos booked their place in the semis by getting past Espanyol in a 4-2 aggregate victory achieved in the extra time of the second leg. Quique Setien’s men are going through a somewhat inconsistent spell of late which saw them win only three of their last 10 matches. The hosts won their last three home games, however, and the fact Copa del Rey final will be played at their own backyard should be enough of an incentive. Their head-to-head record against Valencia should be taken as a warning sign ahead of the Thursday’s match, though, knowing that Real Betis only won once in their last five encounters with Los Che.
Junior came off the bench against Atletico Madrid last time out and could be given a run in from the off this time out.
Diego Lainez is also expected to be given a place in the starting line-up, while Loren Moron is widely expected to replace Sergio Leon up front.
Valencia have picked up their form considerably since the turn of the year, losing only three of their last ten matches in all competitions. Their away form has been a major issue this season, however, knowing that Los Che only managed to win once in their last eight matches on the road.
Marcelino Garcia Toral’s charges have earned their place in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey after beating Getafe in a 3-2 aggregate. Los Ch were off to a disappointing start in the return leg after Molina put Getafe ahead after only one minute but the hosts managed to overturn the result completely in the second half thanks to a sensational hat-trick by Rodrigo. This win could be a huge morale boost for the visitors who have a rather positive record against Los Beticos. Valencia managed to keep a clean sheet in three of their last four matches against Betis, winning two and not losing a single one in the process.
Mouctar Diakhaby is unavailable through a four-match suspension he was charged with retrospectively following a brawl with Getafe.
Jose Gaya is expected to be fit to start, while Francis Coquelin and fully fit Geoffrey Kondogbia will be vying for a place in the midfield.
Key Factors to Consider
- Betis are vying for their first Copa del Rey final since 2005
- Valencia last won the Cup competition in 2008
- Betis beat Valencia once in last 5 attempts
- Valencia managed to keep a clean sheet in 3 of last 4 meetings with Betis
- Los Che won only 1 of their last 8 matches on the road
Both Real Betis and Valencia have struggled with consistency throughout the 2018/19 season. Copa del Rey, however, offers a great chance to both teams to save their respective seasons. This year’s final will be played at Real Betis’ backyard and this could provide Los Beticos with an extra boost for the game, despite the less favourable record against Los Che.
Verdict: Home Win
Best Odds: 6/4
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