Real Betis vs Celta

August 24, 2013
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Following somewhat fortunate victory over Jablonec on their return to Europe, Real Betis will be hoping to show some improvement when they take on Celta Vigo on Sunday evening. The Sky Blues could only muster a 2-2 draw with Espanyol after squandering a two-goal lead, and they, too, will have something to prove at Estadio Benito Villamarin.

Betis enjoying European experience

Looking in hindsight, relegation to Segunda was the best thing that could have happened to the club as it served as a major wake-up call and it gave everyone at Estadio Benito Villamarin an extra motivation to try and help Real Betis return to where they belong. After showing a lot of promise on their return to La Liga two years back, los Verdiblancos largely impressed last term to achieve a seventh-place finish and return to Europe after nine years. The squad have since stayed without Benat, Campbell, Pabon, Canas and Pozuelo, but the likes of Verdu, Cedric, Torres and Andersen have already proved they will be great additions to the squad. As a result, Real Betis produced a very good performance in the 2-1 defeat to Santiago Bernabeu, conceding the second goal in the dying moments of the match, while they enjoyed a winning start to their Europa League campaign having beaten Jablonec away. Even if team’s display in Czech Republic was far from impressive, los Verdiblancos should look much better when they return to their Benito Villamarin. Seeing as how they are set to face one of league’s worst travellers, the first triumph of the campaign appears on the cards.

Didac Vila is back in contention for starting places, but Ruben Castro and Eder Vilarchao continue to miss out through injury.

Joint worst away record in La Liga

Following several unsuccessful attempts, Celta finally returned to the top flight last summer and they somehow managed to survive the first La Liga campaign. Despite playing some good football, the Sky Blues just could not escape the relegation zone, but two victories in last two games saw them secure survival. First choice keeper Javi Varas and top scorer Iago Aspas have since left the club, while Segunda top scorer Charles, Nolito, Fontas and Rafinha arrived. On paper, Celta seem to have enough quality to again escape the drop, but they could be in all sorts of problems unless they can improve their dismal away record. The Sky Blues lost 15 of 19 fixtures on the road last term, which is a huge cause for concern as they prepare for the trip to Seville. Celta haven’t really enjoyed a bright start to the new season, having only mustered a 2-2 draw at home with Espanyol, while the fact they squandered a two-goal lead is likely to have a negative effect on the players’ confidence. With new signings still not playing to their potential, it looks as though the Sky Blues will again return home empty handed.

Samuel Llorca and Mario Bermejo miss out through injury, but new signing Ion Aurtenetxe could slot straight into the starting line-up.


Even if the team are still in the making, Real Betis have been showing a lot of promise in the first two fixtures of the season and they should be able to dispose of last year’s strugglers Celta. The Sky Blues dominated large periods of the Espanyol match, but their dismal away record is likely to prevent them from avoiding defeat in Seville.

Top pick: Home win   1.91 (10/11) @ William Hill

Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score   1.91 (10/11) @ Ladbrokes

Alternative pick 2: Over 2.5 goals   1.98 (49/50) @ BetVictor

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