Real Betis will play host to Espanyol at the Estadio Benito Villamarin on Thursday, June 25, 2020, as the Spanish La Liga season continues.
Betis is currently in 14th place and their current drop in form has nearly dragged them to the relegation battle. If their slide continues, Mallorca could climb back in the team standings and eat up Betis’ current eight-point lead. Meanwhile, Espanyol is the cellar dweller of the Spanish top flight. However, because they are just five points away from safety, they still have a shot at retaining their La Liga life.
Real Betis currently occupies the 14th spot in the Spanish La Liga table with a total of 34 points. Betis has a record of 8 wins, 10 draws, and 10 losses. They are currently 8 points above the relegation goal but are winless in their last three assignments and only have one win in their last five matches.
Last week, Real Betis traveled to Bilbao and suffered a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Athletic Bilbao. Inigo Martinez found the back of the net in the 7th minute of the match and that was all Bilbao needed to take away all three points. Betis has two losses and one draw since the restart of the season and their lack of finishing ability has caused this team to slide since the season resumed.
Lorenzo Moron leads Betis with a total of nine goals on the year. Joaquin has netted eight times while Nabil Fekir has found the back of the net in seven instances. Emerson leads the team with five assists while Fekir and Sergio Canales each have four assists for Betis. Joel Robles has 77 saves in a total of 2,528 minutes played and he has a total of four clean sheets in 29 matches played.
Betis is the 7th best scoring team in Spain with a total of 40 goals this season. They have conceded a total fo 48 goals this year which is 18th in the Spanish top flight. They are also tied for 6th in passing with a total of 29 assists on the year while their -8 goal difference is 13th overall in the Spanish top flight.
Struggling Espanyol finds themselves at the bottom of the Spanish Primera Liga team standings with 24 points. Coming to this match, Espanyol has a record of 5 wins, 9 draws, and 16 losses. Despite their current predicament, their hopes of returning to La Liga next year are still alive as they are just five points away from safety.
In their last assignment, Espanyol suffered a 1-3 home defeat at the hands of mid-table team Levante. The teams were tied at one apiece at the half but Levante picked up two goals in the second half, including an own goal by Espanyol, to walk away with the three points. They have one win, one draw, and one loss since the restart of the season.
Wu Lei and Raul De Tomas lead Espanyol with five goals apiece while David Lopez has found the back of the net thrice this year. Jonathan Calleri, Martias Vargas, and Adri Embarba each have three assists for the squad with Embarba also scoring a pair of goals this season. Diego Lopez has a total fo 84 saves this season but only has 4 clean sheets in 29 appearances and 2603 minutes played.
Espanyol is ranked 18th in goal scoring with a total of 26 goals on the year. They are next to last in the Spanish Primera Division with a total of 49 goals conceded. They also have an aggregate of 16 assists this year which puts them in 17th place. Espanyol’s goal difference of -23 is the worst in Spanish football.
Rubi was relieved of his duties last Sunday after winning only 10 of 33 matches as the man in charge of Real Betis. Replacing him is Alexis Trujillo who will take over for the rest of the season. Trujillo is faced with an unenviable task of ensuring that Betis doesn’t get dragged to a relegation battle.
Betis was looking at a Europa League spot at the start of the season but since that is no longer feasible, Trujillo must get the team back in focus or face the possibility of seeing its top players request for transfers due to the uncertainty of the club. On the other hand, Espanyol showed some promise when the season restarted but the momentum is lost after their home defeat to Levante.
Bernardo Espinosa will not see action for Espanyol as he will serve the second of his three-game ban. If Abelardo decides to revert to a five-man midfield, Sergi Darder could feature over Wu Lei. Meanwhile, Carles Alena may be part of a five-man midfield while top goal-scorer Loren Moron could be a replacement for Borja Iglesias. With the change in management, I expect changes in Betis’ starting XI.
These teams have played each other in a total of 113 meetings and Espanyol holds the advantage 42-35-36. These teams played to a 2-2 draw when these two teams met in Barcelona in mid-December. Betis are the 8th worst home club in Spain with a record of 7-4-4 and 25 points. On the other hand, Espanyol is the 9th worst away team in Spain with a record of 3-4-8 and a total of 13 points.
The changes in the Betis dugout should work for their good but I’m not sure how much better they will be this time around. If we consider the improvement that Espanyol has shown in its recent performances, I won’t be surprised if these teams played to a draw. The last time they met in December 2019, they played to a 2-2 draw. I have a feeling this one will end the same way.
The last five matches between these two teams have seen both teams score goals. They combined for an aggregate of four goals in their last meeting in December 2019. Real Betis has scored and conceded in all but one of their last 25 home matches. I like both teams to score here.
PREDICTION: YES – BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE (-125)
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