Thursday, May 23, 2024

Prediction: Valencia vs Real Betis

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: BetUS

On Saturday evening, Mestalla will be the venue for an intriguing La Liga match, as Valencia host Real Betis with both teams competing for a European spot in Spain’s top division.

Valencia presently hold seventh place in the La Liga standings, trailing sixth-placed Real Sociedad by three points. Meanwhile, Real Betis occupy eighth place, trailing their weekend opponents by two points.

Valencia

Valencia endured a notably disappointing 2022-23 season, landing in 16th place in La Liga, marking their lowest finish since relegation to the Segunda Division in 1986. However, this term has showcased considerable improvement, with the team amassing 47 points from 31 matches, securing seventh position in the league standings.

Currently, Ruben Baraja’s squad stands within reach of the Conference League playoff round, trailing sixth-placed Real Sociedad by a mere three points. Valencia’s recent form has been promising, clinching consecutive away victories against Granada and Osasuna, and emerging victorious in three of their last five league fixtures, suffering only one defeat in that span.

Valencia’s home performances have been very good this term, garnering 29 points from 15 matches. Their upcoming opponents have, meanwhile, claimed just three away league triumphs in the 2023/24 season.

Team News

In their clash with Osasuna on Monday, Valencia missed three key players: Roman Yaremchuk, Jose Gaya, and Mouctar Diakhaby, who remain sidelined for this upcoming match.

On the other hand, the club hasn’t reported any new injury concerns, so it’s probable that head coach Baraja will stick with the same starting XI. Hugo Guillamon is expected to remain on the bench.

Andre Almeida, who scored the only goal of the game against Osasuna, will once again partner with Hugo Duro in the attacking third, while Fran Perez and Diego Lopez are likely to maintain their positions on the wings.

Real Betis

Betis come into this match fresh from a victory too, having secured a 2-1 win against struggling Celta Vigo in their previous outing, halting a four-game losing streak in La Liga.

Under Manuel Pellegrini’s guidance, the team has accumulated 45 points from 31 league matches this season, positioning them in eighth place. They trail Valencia by two points in seventh and are five points behind sixth-placed Real Sociedad. Although they finished sixth in La Liga last season, they have encountered difficulty in securing wins this term, with only eight losses but too many draws (12) preventing them from climbing higher in the standings.

Their recent struggles aside, Betis convincingly defeated Valencia earlier in the season with a 3-0 win. However, they suffered a 3-0 defeat in the corresponding fixture at Mestalla during the 2022/23 campaign. It should also be said that the Seville outfit boasts a notable victory at Mestalla in May 2022 and has lost only once to Valencia in their last seven league encounters.

Team News

Betis will be without Hector Bellerin until early next month due to a hamstring issue, while Marc Roca and Ezequiel Avila remain sidelined. Additionally, Marc Bartra’s availability is uncertain due to an Achilles problem, and Sokratis Papastathopoulos will require assessment after battling illness.

Nabil Fekir, who scored after coming off the bench against Celta in their last match, is likely to be in the starting lineup this time, potentially displacing Ayoze Perez for the visitors in the upcoming weekend fixture.

Conclusion

With so much at stake in terms of European qualification, this matchup is likely to be fiercely contested as both teams seek to secure a vital victory to boost their chances. Expect an intense battle between two evenly matched sides eager to claim all three points and bolster their positions in the standings.

But with Betis failing to win in 12 of their 15 away matches this term and Valencia on good form, the home supporters are likely to leave the Mestalla happy after this game.

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: BetUS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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