La Liga Betting: Betis v Barcelona


There’s little to play for in this game as both sides close out the season, but with Real Betis in front of their adoring home fans, and Pep Guardiola leading Barcelona for the last time, there remains some incentive. Betis have done reasonably well in their first season back in the top flight, and though their form has been patchy in places, they have played some of the most attractive football in Spain. Barça, meanwhile, conceded the league title several weeks ago and could be in for an important summer of planning.

Team News

Pepe Mel has been delighted with his side over recent weeks, but there are set to be few changes. Mel tested an XI of Casto; Chica, Paulao, Dorado, Nacho; Beñat, Cañas, Pozuelo; Montero, Pereira, and Rubén Castro earlier this week. Iriney looks set to face a late fitness test. Mel will most likely start with a 4-3-3 but easily switches to 4-4-2 when needs must. Barça will be without José Manuel Pinto for the game, so Oier, from the ‘B’ team has been called up, along with Martín Montoya, Marc Bartra and Cristian Tello.  Seydou Keita also returns after training with the group this week, but Alexis Sánchez misses out.

Form

Betis have only lost 2 of their last 10 games, as they stepped up in the final stretch of the season to preserve their top flight status. At home they’ve been particularly strong, remaining undefeated in their last 5 games and beating Europa League chasers Osasuna in that run. They’ve been proficient in front of goal too, scoring in their last 13 games. If you like the sound of that, they’re 8.25 to win and 5.50 to get the draw. Barça meanwhile have been impressive despite losing out on the title and in the three games since they’ve hammered home 15 goals.  On the road too, they’ve won their last 7 games. To win 0-3 they’re a tempting 7.00.

Main Man: Real Betis

Rubén Castro has been grabbing the goals Betis, and most of them have proved important for his team this season. He’s an intelligent player around the penalty area, capable of showing a quick burst of pace, and is deadly in front of goal. He has 14 goals, and 5 assists, meaning he’s contributed to 31% of the team’s goals. He also stated this week he’d like to remain at Villamarin.

Main Man: Barcelona

Who else but Lionel Messi? He’s in phenomenal form at the moment, bagging hat-tricks, free-kicks, penalties and assisting when he can. He’s hit 50 of Barca’s 112 league goals, and is looking to cement his status as the Pichichi (top scorer award) with another scintillating display here. Overall his tally for the season stands at a mind blowing 72 goals.

Recent Head-to-Head

Barça have won on just 1 of their last 9 league visits to Betis, though the meeting earlier in the season at Camp Nou ended up 4-2 to the Catalans. Betis have only failed to score in one of their last 13 league meetings with Barça, in 07/08 to be exact. Mel’s side have scored 9 in their last 4 league games against Barça in La Liga – 4 more goals than any other side currently in La Liga.

Goalscorer Betting

This is a no-brainer, with Messi and Ruben Castro so prolific. The Argentine is 3.20 to score first, while Betis’ lead man is at 10.00 first and 3.40 anytime.

The Verdict

This will be an interesting one as Guardiola has a lot of respect for Betis’ football and the hosts should offer up a decent contest. It’s hard not to seem them overpowered though, and an open game will only play into the hands of Barça and Messi. Guardiola’s men are 1.67 to score in both halves, and 1.33 to win. Over 3.5 goals is at 1.75.