Real Betis and Sevilla head into the Seville derby in contrasting forms, but are both eager to get the most out of the local city derby in the first leg of the Copa del Rey last 16 round.
Winless in last six matches in all competitions, Betis are coming into the new year’s Seville derby on the back of the comprehensive 4-0 home loss to Eibar. The disappointing result has left Los Beticos at the five-point distance from the relegation zone and fearing for their future. Pepe Mel has offered his resignation after the heavy defeat to Eibar admitting that the club have his office at their disposal as of now. The Andalusians have suffered their second consecutive four-goal margin defeat and the manager is ready to take the responsibility for his team’s poor results. The fans are angry with the manager, who asked the Betis faithful to spare the players of any negative comments. Turning their focus away from the league challenges, Los Beticos are preparing for the much anticipated derby and are ready to treat their players and award them for their patience. Namely, Real Betis offered a special ticket package to season ticket holders releasing 5 thousand tickets at a price of €10 per ticket for Sevilla game. Betis need to record a win and turn their fortunes around and will do anything to have the fans on their side for the derby. The hosts have secured their place in the last 16 round thanks to a 5-3 aggregate win over Gijon.
Vincenzo Rennela remains on the sidelines since October with his knee injury, while the defensive pair of Heiko Westermann and Bruno Gonzales have both picked up knocks and are likely to miss the affair. In addition, Alvaro Vadillo is also unavailable through injury.
Sevilla return to Benito Villamarin after their December visit in La Liga which ended in a goalless draw. Unai Emery’s charges boast a dreadful away record as they are winless on the road this entire season. The only away triumph they have managed to accomplish was the 3-0 Copa del Rey win over lowly UD Logrones. Los Rojiblancos manager has conceded that Sevilla need to start winning away in order to make their home form count, but will have to wait a bit longer for it as they are coming off from another disappointing result away from their ground. Sevilla have been defeated in the last round at Granada (2-1) and a close trip to their neighbours Betis will be a great opportunity to change the luck and regain credibility in front of the travelling fans. On the positive note, the Sunday loss to Granada was Sevilla’s first in last nine games across competitions and the team-spirit is quite positive in the new year. Emery’s charges are sitting in ninth place in La Liga standings with only two points separating them from European places. Sevilla have booked their place in this round of the Copa del Rey with a comprehensive 5-0 aggregate win over aforementioned UD Logrones.
Vicente Iborra is suspended for the visiting team, while Beto, Gael Kakuta and Marco Andreolli complete the injury list for Unay Emeri’s team.
With Real Betis currently in terrible form in general, and Sevilla on a dreadful away stretch, I don’t see much separating the two sides for their forthcoming fixture. Los Rojiblancos are like a different time away from their stadium and all I can see on the cards here are goals.
Top pick: Under 2.5 goals 1.95 (19/20) @Bet365
Alternative pick 1: Under 1.5 goals 3.75 (11/4) @Unibet
Alternative pick 2: Draw 1.95 (19/20) @WilliamHill