La Liga Match Preview Round 35 (2022/23): Sevilla Vs Real Betis
Written by Patrick Echatah
Following their victory in the Europa League semifinals, Sevilla will resume their La Liga campaign on Sunday night by hosting Real Betis in the most recent Seville derby.
The host team is now in 10th place in the standings, one point behind Girona in seventh place, and Real Betis is comfortably in sixth place as Manuel Pellegrini’s team looks to make the Europa League.
STYLE OF PLAY
Sevilla usually play a 4-3-3 formation. This formation allows them to switch to a 3-4-3 or a 4-1-4-1 with little variations, being very adaptable even within the same game. We can usually see the defensive midfielder dropping between the centre-backs to form a back-three or the wingers going back to help the midfielders to defend form of counter attack. This transition allows Sampaoli to switch different tactics.
Real Betis coach, Manuel Pellegrini uses a 4-3-2-1 formation when his team are in possession with Guido Rodríguez, and Sergio Canales in central midfield while Ayoze Pérez and Luiz Henrique flanking Borja Iglesias as forwards. Betis are built to play from the back, withdrawing a central midfielder into their defensive line when the opposition press.
Following a 3-2 overall victory over Juventus in the semifinals, Sevilla will face Roma in the competition’s final as they attempt to win the Europa League for a record seventh time. It would be a significant accomplishment for Los Nervionenses to win a seventh Europa League title and earn a seat in the 2023–24 Champions League, even though they are only one point behind Girona in seventh place in the race for a playoff slot in the Europa Conference League.
Since taking over as Sevilla’s head coach on March 21, Mendilibar has presided over a significant turnaround, with the team winning eight of their first 12 games. Sevilla was in danger of being relegated when he was hired. The hosts have now won six of their previous eight league games, including a 3-0 victory over Real Valladolid last time out with all three goals coming in the second half of the game.
Real Betis, who hasn’t played since defeating Rayo Vallecano 3-1 in the league on Monday, will undoubtedly be the more rested of the two clubs. A sixth-place result would be considered a success since Real Betis would advance to the group stage of the Europa League for the upcoming season. Real Betis have finished sixth and fifth in their last two seasons at this level.
Pellegrini’s men have performed well on the road this year, amassing 24 points from 17 games, and they will be visiting a Sevilla team that has only won seven of its 17 home league games this year. Real Betis and Seville rivals haven’t faced off in a La Liga match since September 2018, however earlier this year, the two teams drew 1-1 to split the points.
HEAD TO HEAD
Sevilla and Real Betis have played 48 matches so far. Sevilla have won 24 matches, Real Betis on the other hand have won 8 matches. 16 matches between the Spanish clubs have ended in a draw.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Sevilla will be counting on the ball carrying abilities of Lamela to help break down Real Betis defense while Rafa Mir will be keen to add to his goal tally. For Real Betis, they will be looking to Borja Iglesias and Sergio Canales for the needed spark as they might not get much of the ball as a team, so they need to make the most of the opportunities that they do get.
Sevilla: Tanguy Nianzou, Marcao, and Joan Jordan will be out injured for Sevilla on Sunday, and the team’s fitness after their exhausting match against Juventus needs to be well watched. Marcos Acuna, who received a red card on Thursday, is still available for this game, while Pape Gueye, who was ineligible to play for Sevilla in the Europa League, will also rejoin the team. Lamela, Gonzalo Montiel, Karim Rekik, Rafa Mir, and Papu Gomez should all be recalled for this game in addition to Marko Dmitrovic, who is expected to return in goal.
Real Betis: Meanwhile, Victor Ruiz and Nabil Fekir will both be out injured for Real Betis’ match this weekend. The visitors are also concerned about Youssouf Sabaly and William Carvalho’s fitness after the duo had issues during the 3-1 victory over Rayo on Monday night. As a result, Andres Guardado and Aitor Ruibal are ready to enter the lineup. There may also be a change in the last third of the field, with Borja Iglesias slated to replace Willian Jose.
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Sevilla: Dmitrovic; Montiel, Bade, Rekik, Telles; Rakitic, Gueye; Lamela, Torres, Gomez; Mir
Real Betis: Bravo; Ruibal, Pezzella, Gonzalez, Miranda; Rodriguez, Guardado; Henrique, Canales, Perez; Iglesias
Given that Sevilla will be playing on Thursday night, this game is extremely tough to predict. Given the conditions, a draw would be a respectable outcome for both teams. However, because neither team wants to lose, it may be a close game with the possibility of a scoreless tie for the points. Sevilla 1-1 Real Betis
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