Real Betis vs Real Madrid preview

January 17, 2014
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Real Betis vs Real MadridOne would be forgiven for thinking that mighty Real Madrid will have an easy job against the bottom-table side in La Liga, but things are rarely that straightforward in modern football.

Real Betis are indeed desperate as they are on a 12-match winless run in the league, but they have potential to cause some problems to los Blancos.

Having secured European qualification last season, los Verdiblancos always needed to reinforce the squad over the summer, but the club apparently did not have the funds to make that happen.

They instead saw a number of important players leave and having failed to sign proper replacements, Real Betis management have nobody else to blame but themselves for team’s dismal start to the season.

While making it to Europa League knockout stages, Estadio Benito Villamarin outfit experienced all sorts of problems on domestic stage, slipping to rock bottom in La Liga.

In addition to crashing out of Copa del Rey, Real Betis are now seven points adrift of league safety, meaning they have no choice but to go for a win against Real Madrid.

And with los Verdiblancos giving a good account of themselves in the 2-1 defeat at Santiago Bernabeu, they look a good bet to score at 1.48 (16/33).

Nono misses out through suspension, whereas Alvaro Vadillo, Xavi Torres and Nosa Igiebor are out on the sidelines.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Andersen – Juanfran, Paulao, Amaya, Nacho – Sevilla, Reyes – Castro, Molina, Carlos – Baptistao.

Once again, Real Madrid had a somewhat poor start to the season and they have since been trying to get their campaign back on track.

Los Blancos indeed seriously raised their form of late to close the gap behind La Liga leaders Barcelona to three points, while also doing well in other competitions entered.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side have been pretty impressive lately, winning six straight matches and keeping five clean sheets in the process, which makes odds of 2.80 (9/5) offered on Real to win to nil very tempting.

Having also won their last three matches on the road, los Blancos are regarded as hot favourites to win at Estadio Benito Villamarin.

Carlo Ancelotti has no fresh selection worries at the moment, although Sami Khedira and Raphael Varane remain in the infirmary.

Fabio Coentrao was sent off in midweek’s Copa del Rey clash against Osasuna, but he is available for selection for the Betis game.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Lopez – Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo – Alonso, Modric – Di Maria, Bale, Ronaldo – Benzema.

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