Real Betis hosts Barcelona at the Estadio Benito Villamarin in La Liga on Saturday, April 30, starting 20:30 CET with the Catalan giants in prime position to become the league champions. However, they need to win the rest of their three matches left in order to achieve it, starting with Betis.
Despite succumbing to three consecutive defeats, Barcelona have bounced back with two massive wins on the trot to give them plenty of confidence ahead of their Real Betis encounter. They defeated Sporting Gijon 6-0 at Camp Nou last weekend. The Blaugrana have won only one of their last four away encounters with their last away victory coming against Deportivo de La Coruna where they thrashed the Brazquiazuis 0-8.
Thomas Vermaelen is sidelined with a calf problem and won’t make the trip to Seville. Meanwhile, Jeremy Mathieu and Sergi Roberto may recover in time to feature in the squad.
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique sounded confident ahead of the crucial tie. The Spaniard specifically highlighted his team being in a better position than the other challengers, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
“I don’t think we’ll fail in any of the last three games. I’m basing this on what I see on the pitch. I’m optimistic because I see my payers train and come through diversity.” Enrique said, as reported by ibtimes.co.uk.
Meanwhile, Betis manager Juan Merino won’t be too confident heading up against the league leaders considering his team lost 2-0 against Sevilla in the Seville derby on April 24. What will demotivate the Andalusian club even more is their recent record against Barcelona where they have not managed to win in any of their last five encounters.
Bruno, who picked up an injury in the Sevilla tie will miss the encounter with Barcelona along with Juan Manuel Vargas and Didier Digard.
“The derby is not any normal league match, the pain is deep, but my job is to try lift spirits of the group, starting today. We will try to encourage the group and see if we can recover some injured players.” Merino said.
Real Betis: LWDWL
Real Betis: Adan, Molinero, Pezzella, Bruno, Varela, Petros, N’Diaye, Musonda, Joaquin, Ceballos, Castro
Barcelona: Bravo, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Real Betis vs. Barcelona
Date: Saturday, April 30, 2016
Time: 22:30 CET
Venue: Estadio Benito Villamarin
Live Stream: Sky Sports 2 HD
Photo courtesy: David Poblador/Wikipedia.org