Celtic vs Real Betis predictions and match preview for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as Betis travel to Glasgow.
|Thursday 9th December 2021
|21:00 (local time)
|UEFA Europa League Group Stage
Celtic vs Real Betis Preview
Real Betis are the only Spanish side in action in Europe this week that isn’t faced with a high pressure game. Whatever happens in this one, Betis will finish 2nd in the group and progress into the Europa League knockout stages while Celtic will finish 3rd and move into the Conference League.
To an extent, it’s a shame we aren’t going to get the tense, final day showdown at a noisy Celtic Park between these sides who played out such a cracking game on matchday 1. Celtic led that match 2-0 in Seville and could easily have gone 3-0 up before Betis staged a fine fightback to win 4-3.
It has been a largely successful Europa League group stage overall for Betis with 10 points from 5 games and just the one major setback in the form of a heavy defeat away to group winners Bayer Leverkusen. That came in the middle of a nightmare week just prior to the international break but they have since responded in really impressive fashion.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side come into this game having won 5 on the bounce in all competitions, scoring 13 and conceding just 1. They secured a fantastic win at Camp Nou at the weekend with in-form Juanmi converting after an excellent team move. It’s likely though that we’ll see big changes from that XI here with Pellegrini likely to take advantage of a rare opportunity to rest key players.
The same may be true of Celtic with Ange Postecoglou likely to field a few squad players too. Celtic came so close to making this game a straight shootout for 2nd place by going 2-1 ahead in Leverkusen in their last group match. Even a point would have made things really interesting here but the Germans scored 82nd and 87th minute goals to send the Scottish side into the Conference League.
Celtic have scored 10 goals in this group and with the exception of the home game against Leverkusen have certainly not been outclassed. They’ve also won their last 5 domestic games so they should be in relatively good spirits heading into this one although much will depend on exactly what kind of eleven their boss chooses to field.
Head to Head
- Betis won 4-3 in Sevilla back on matchday one.
- The clubs hadn’t previously met.
Cameron Carter-Vickers is banned for Celtic who are missing Karamoko Dembele and Christopher Jullien to injuries. The lively Jota is carrying a knock and may not be risked with rotation expected.
Betis are without the suspended Nabil Fekir. Claudio Bravo and Martin Montoya are carrying knocks and are unlikely to be risked with wholesale changes expected from the weekend game.
Celtic vs Real Betis Predictions
Score Prediction: Celtic 2-2 Real Betis
These kinds of dead rubbers are never easy to predict with both teams expected to rotate. Betis do have genuine depth in their squad but take out the likes of the suspended Nabil Fekir and Sergio Canales, and they will struggle to exert as much dominance on this game. Both coaches tend to favour positive football so it should still be a watchable affair and a score draw may be on the cards.
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