Sevilla vs Real Betis
Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Seville
Thursday, 11-06-2020 @11pm
Ref: Antonio Mateu
The 2019/20 Spanish La Liga campaign resumes after its three-month long postponement this week, and the division’s first fixture pits local rivals Sevilla against Real Betis on Thursday.
In the lead up to the enforced hiatus earlier this year, 3rd placed Sevilla were leading the race to finish as the best in the rest in La Liga behind traditional big hitters Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Los Nervionenses were beaten just twice in 11 matches in all competitions before the break – a run that has kept them on track for a top four finish in La Liga and for a deep run into the latter stages of the Europa League.
Sevilla’s excellent results at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán have provided the main foundation for their success, and Julen Lopetegui’s outfit were beaten just twice in 18 fixtures on their own patch in all competitions since the season started back in August.
That formidable home record will make for some harrowing reading for Sevilla’s bitter local rivals Real Betis. Los Verdiblancos have been among La Liga’s worst travellers this season, winning just one of the 13 league matches they’ve contested since August as the visiting team.
Betis’ overall form has in fact, been substandard since December last year, and their return of just two victories in 11 games is a poor return for a team with so many talented individuals.
Head Coach Rubi will hope for an upswing in fortunes when the season kicks back into gear this week, but having lost each of the last two El Gran Derbi fixtures, we’re tipping 12th placed Betis to come unstuck again.
Sevilla earned a 2-1 victory when the traditional foes met in last year’s reverse meeting between the clubs in November, and came out on the right side of a five-goal thriller when the sides last clashed at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.
With the psychological edge that winning successive derby provides adding to the momentum established by their impressive home form – Sevilla look better placed to walk away with all three points on Thursday night.
Sevilla remain one of the toughest nuts to crack at home in Spain, though their record of keeping just one clean sheet in six matches there suggests Betis can dream of what looks like an unlikely victory.
Sevilla have lost just twice in 13 home games this season. The home side have won each of their last two meetings with rivals Real Betis. Betis won just one of their 13 away games this term. Sevilla lost just two of their last 11 fixtures in all competitions.
Sevilla will be without Nemanja Gudelj after the midfielder picked up his fifth booking of the season against Atletico last time out. Suso has also been carrying a slight knock but should be available for the midweek clash, with Diego Carlos set to partner Jules Kounde in defence. Lucas Ocampos will be aiming to hit the back of the net for the fifth La Liga game running and will likely be part of a front three with Suso and Luuk de Jong.
With regards to Betis, the match may come too soon for William Carvalho, Juanmi and Diego Lainez – all of whom have struggled with injuries. Former Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles, who tested positive for coronavirus last month, has recovered and should feature in between the sticks. Should the visitors opt for a lone striker, Borja Iglesias and Loren Moron will battle it out for a spot in the starting lineup.
The other Spanish La Liga match-day 28 fixtures
-Granada vs Getafe @8:30pm
-Valencia vs Levante @11pm
-Espanyol vs Alaves @3pm
-Celta Vigo vs Villarreal @6pm
-Leganes vs Valladolid @8:30pm
-Mallorca vs Barcelona @11pm
-Bilbao vs Atletico @3pm
-Real Madrid vs Eibar @8:30pm
-Sociedad vs Osasuna @11pm