Real Betis vs Athletic Club predictions and match preview for Thursday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as two European hopefuls meet.
|Thursday 29th December 2022
|19:15 (local time)
Real Betis vs Athletic Club Preview
Real Betis and Athletic Club clash in Seville on Thursday in one of the standout fixtures as LaLiga returns from the World Cup. These are two direct rivals for European and potentially Champions League qualification so it’s a big one to return to for these two coaches and their respective teams. The winners will climb to 3rd in the table, but that could change as the LaLiga live scores come in over the next few days.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have been quite busy during the break with an unsuccessful South American tour followed by friendlies against big name opponents over the past fortnight. Their 1-0 win over Manchester United was their only victory during the period and Betis could do with a strong showing here having slumped to a 3-0 defeat at Valencia in their last league game.
There were some mitigating circumstances then. The likes of Borja Iglesias, Juanmi and Nabil Fekir were all missing and the game was goalless when Edgar Gonzalez saw red in the 61st minute. He will be suspended here as a result but Betis have their key forward and attacking midfield players back again and they can take confidence from having LaLiga’s 3rd best home record this season.
Athletic have also been more convincing at home than away. They’ve taken only 2 points from their last 4 road games after a terrific start to life under Ernesto Valverde. The lack of European distractions is a major advantage for them in the race for continental qualification this term but everything should be equal here with both sides fresh to go again after a long rest, although Betis did have slightly more players involved in the World Cup.
The visitors should have almost everyone available here so we’ll get a good idea of what Valverde sees as his best team. They’ll most likely start both Williams brothers despite their involvement in Qatar and will be hopeful that Gorka Guruzeta can continue his impressive form having made a surprise impact with 5 goals so far this term, although it’s still possible that he will drop to the bench for this one.
Team News & Possible Lineups
|Camarasa, Juan Cruz, Paul
Possible XI: Bravo – Moreno, Ruiz, Felipe, Sabaly – Guardado, Carvalho – Juanmi, Fekir, Canales – Iglesias (4-2-3-1)
Coach: Manuel Pellegrini
Possible XI: Simon – Yuri, Yeray, Martinez, De Marcos – Vesga, Sancet – Berenguer, Muniain, N. Williams – I. Williams (4-2-3-1)
Coach: Ernesto Valverde
Score Prediction: Real Betis 2-1 Athletic Club
These two sides are both much more comfortable at home than away and that could just tilt things in Betis’ favour here. Betis should be able to name a much stronger eleven than when they last played in the league too and they perhaps possess a little bit more in terms of overall attacking quality and goal threat than their opponents despite Athletic’s impressive goalscoring record so far this term.
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