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Barcelona vs Real Betis – LIVE Reddit Soccer 08/05/2022

Barcelona vs Real Betis – LIVE Reddit Soccer 08/05/2022

Barcelona will be looking to strengthen their grip on second spot in the La Liga table when they make the trip to Seville on Saturday evening to take on fifth-placed Real Betis. The Catalan giants are currently two points clear of third-placed Sevilla, while Real Betis are three points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid in the race for a top-four finish. Real Betis lifted the Copa del Rey for just the third time in their history last month by beating Valencia in the final, while they are also very much in the argument for a top-four spot heading into the final straight.

Indeed, a total of 58 points from 34 matches has left them in fifth spot in the table, just three points behind fourth-placed Atletico on the same number of games, and a victory in this match would leave them in a confident mood ahead of their final three fixtures against Valencia, Granada and Real Madrid. The Green and Whites, who have not claimed a top-four spot in La Liga since 2005, were held to a goalless draw by Getafe in their last match on May 2, and they have only actually picked up just two points from their last three league fixtures, last winning away to Cadiz on April 9.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side have won nine, drawn two and lost six of their 17 home league games this season to collect 29 points, and they will be welcoming a Barcelona side with the second-best away record in Spain’s top flight this term, having picked up 31 points from their 17 matches. Real Betis recorded a 1-0 victory at Camp Nou in the reverse game earlier this season, but they suffered a 3-2 defeat when the pair locked horns in Seville last term.

Over the last week, Barcelona have had to watch Real Madrid win the La Liga title and then book their spot in the Champions League final, which would certainly have been difficult for the Catalan outfit.

Xavi’s side will finish the season trophyless but will be determined to secure the runners-up spot in La Liga, and they are in pole position to finish immediately behind Real Madrid, currently sitting two points clear of third-placed Sevilla and five ahead of fourth-placed Atletico.

Real Betis would move to within five points of Barcelona if they triumphed on Saturday, though, and the Catalan giants are not yet sure of a top-four finish despite sitting eight clear of fifth spot ahead of the next set of fixtures.

Xavi’s team have actually lost three of their last five matches in all competitions, including two of their last four in the league against Cadiz and Rayo Vallecano, but they will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 win over Mallorca last weekend, where Memphis Depay and Sergio Busquets were both on the scoresheet.

Barcelona will face Celta Vigo, Getafe and Villarreal in their final three league games of the campaign, and they will fancy their chances of claiming all three points on Saturday evening, having been victorious in five of their last six league matches with Real Betis.

With Real Madrid securing the La Liga title last week, the only task left on Barcelona’s agenda would be to finish second in the league. The Blaugrana are currently second with 66 points after 34 gameweeks, two points more than third-placed Sevilla and five more than fourth-placed Atletico Madrid.

Xavi’s men have undergone a mixed run of results recently with three defeats in their last five matches across competitions. Their most recent outing ended in a 2-1 victory over RCD Mallorca with Memphis Depay and Sergio Busquets scoring a goal in either half to give the Catalans all three points.

Barcelona will be pleased to be in a position to finish second in the league, especially after their dismal start to the season which saw Ronald Koeman getting the sack. They will want to finish the season on a high and start preparing for the next term in an attempt to challenge for the league title under Xavi.

Real Betis, on the other hand, have had another great season under manager Manuel Pellegrini and look set to better their last season’s league finish. Pellegrini led the side to the sixth spot in La Liga last term, and they are currently fifth, two points off sixth-placed Real Sociedad.

Betis are fresh off a Copa del Rey final win over Valencia. The final, played on April 24, finished 1-1 after extra time with Betis prevailing on penalties. Los Verdiblancos were held to a goalless draw by Getafe in their latest La Liga encounter. They are three points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid and still stand a chance of qualifying for the Champions League.

Their recent form paints a better picture than Barcelona with just one defeat in their last five matches across competitions. Betis will want to continue in a similar vein and complete a league double over the Blaugrana, having defeated them 1-0 at the Camp Nou earlier this season.

Manuel Pellegrini is expected to continue with a 4-2-3-1 that has served them quite well over the past two seasons. Former Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo will continue in goal for Betis with a back four of Youssouf Sabaly, German Pezzella, Marc Bartra and Alex Moreno expected to start with Bartra’s inclusion being the only change.

Guido Rodriguez will continue in midfield with William Carvalho partnering him in a double pivot. They will look to stifle their Barcelona counterparts in Gavi and Frenkie de Jong. Aitor Ruibal, Nabil Fekir and Juanmi will play as the three attacking midfielders with Borja Iglesias leading the line.

Xavi will have multiple first-team stars absent from the squad to travel to Betis. As Barcelona try to strengthen their hold on the second spot in the league table, the Spanish tactician will continue with his possession-based style.

Martin Brathwaite, Sergino Dest, Oscar Mingueza, Nico Gonzalez, Pedri, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto are set to miss out due to respective injuries. Marc Andre ter Stegen will also likely be unavailable due to an illness and could be replaced by Neto between the goal with Eric Garcia expected to slot in for Pique at the heart of the defence.

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