Barca vs Real Betis preview: latest team news, probable line-ups, score predictions & more
Barca face Real Betis away for the 28th La Liga matchday on Sunday, 17 March. Kick-off is at 20:45 CET.
There are no surprises on Ernesto Valverde's squad list with Dembele, Vermaelen and Rafinha missing the game due to their respective injuries, while Kevin Prince Boateng gets his chance to prove himself. Todibo and Murillo miss out on the list due to a technical decision of the coach.
The only players who are out for Betis are left-back Junior Firpo (muscle injury), right-back Antonio Barragan (muscular problems) and right winger Francis Guerrero (ankle injury). Midfielder Andres Guardado who missed training session on Friday has recovered in time to face the Catalans.
4 facts you need to know
- Barcelona have won 12 of their last 14 matches in La Liga.
- Barcelona have scored at least 2 goals in 12 of their last 13 matches against Real Betis in all competitions.
- Barcelona have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 7 away matches in La Liga.
- Barcelona are undefeated in their last 6 away matches against Real Betis in all competitions.
After Atletico's slip-up at San Mames on Saturday, it would be almost criminal for Barca not to capitalize on their title rivals mistake. With a win against Betis Barca could create a comfortable 10 points gap between themselves and the second place. This, and upcoming international break make us suggest that Valverde wouldn't rotate his squad all too much compared to Lyon game starting a strong XI.
Luis Suarez vs Marc Bartra
La Masia graduate and now a stalwart of Betis' defence, Marca Bartra, has a lot to prove against his former club and the Spaniard certainly has means to do it. The Uruguayan, meanwhile, has recovered from a form slump and is now scoring in almost every game. It should be an interesting matchup.
90Min: 'Recent wins over Celta and Valladolid have kept Betis in the hunt for Europe but it will be too much to ask for history to repeat itself again to give Betis their first ever league double over Barca.' Betis 1-3 Barcelona.
Sports Mole: 'Betis will fancy their chances of finding the back of the net, but Barca are in stunning form at the moment and should record all three points in Seville to strengthen their grip on first spot in the table.' Betis 1-3 Barcelona.
The Hard Tackle: 'Real Betis may have sprung up a surprise when they last met Barcelona. But, a lot has changed since then. While the Blaugrana continue to be heavily reliant on Lionel Messi, they have become considerably more resilient in defence, with Gerard Pique, in particular, enjoying one of his best ever campaigns. With the hosts not failing to be consistent in the final third, it is likely that Quique Setien & co. will be in for a long night on Sunday.' Betis 1-3 Barcelona.
Betis boss Quique Setien: "We are convinced that we can put on a good performance and really compromise their playing style. And we are absolutely sure that we can give another important surprise in this match."
Valverde: "The next four La Liga games are fundamental. We want to keep our distance with our pursuers. Tomorrow's game is vital. It's a tough road test. It's important to look at what happened the last time we played them. They're the only team to have beaten us at Camp Nou."
What do you expect from Barca against Real Betis?