Barcelona and Real Betis to play another thriller in La Liga

    23 Aug 2019 | La Liga | Preview
    Barcelona and Real Betis to play another thriller in La Liga
    Christian-Bertrand / Shutterstock

    Will Barcelona and Real Betis replicate their incredible seven-goal thriller at Camp Nou from last season?

    The Blaugrana go into the Sunday fixture on the back of an opening day loss to Athletic Bilbao. The Lionel Messi-less Barcelona fell 1-0 and rarely troubled their Basque opponents. Luis Suarez also went off injured and will miss the next three weeks of football.

    Real Betis’ opening weekend fixture wasn’t much better. The green and white lost 2-1 at home to Real Valladolid. Real Betis had a lot of player turnover during the offseason with several players leaving and others coming into replace them.

    So far, the team has not gelled and it may take time to play to its potential. One player who will not appear for Real Betis on Sunday is goalkeeper Joel Robles. He was sent off in the first half with a straight red card.

    His early sending off was part of Real Betis’ downfall on opening day. Daniel Martin Fernandez will fill in for Robles.

    The big news at Barcelona is the speculation and ongoing saga of Neymar. The club allowed Philippe Coutinho to leave for Bayern Munich but it still hasn’t improved their chances of re-signing Neymar.

    According to reports in Spain, Messi and other players are furious with Barcelona’s failed attempts to re-sign the Brazilian. However, the transfer would involve large sums of cash and could see Barcelona punished for Financial Fair Play rules breaking.

    The problem currently holding up Neymar’s return is Barcelona’s unwillingness to pay Paris Saint-Germain all the cash up front. There is a good chance Barcelona do not have it and Neymar’s arrival will cause chaos with the wage structure.

    So, all of this is the backdrop to Real Betis’ arrival to Camp Nou on Sunday. Messi will play on Sunday against Real Betis. His injury has healed and despite not playing in preseason, will be in the team for the fixture.

    Without Suarez, Messi will be a key part of the team and vital to a Barcelona win. Barcelona need Messi more than ever and following a home loss, his presence is desperately needed after they fired blanks last weekend.

    Barcelona are undefeated in 13 of 14 La Liga matches against Real Betis. Last season’s loss at Camp Nou was their first loss to Real Betis since 2011. Unless Barcelona are poor with Messi in the team, they should get a matchday 2 win.

    The two Spanish clubs will once again combine for over 2.5 goals scored as Barcelona claim victory. Expect Messi to score on his return.

    Predictions for La Liga

    Home team - Away team Tip
    flag_5 Es1
    Villarreal CFAtlético Madrid
    06/12/2019 21:00
    flag_5 Es1
    Real MadridRCD Espanyol
    07/12/2019 13:00
    flag_5 Es1
    Granada CFDeportivo Alavés
    07/12/2019 16:00
    flag_5 Es1
    Levante UDValencia CF
    07/12/2019 18:30

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