Real Betis vs Barcelona Prediction: The draw provides betting value

 | January 20 | 

6 mins read

Mark Sochon's La Liga Tips

It hasn't exactly been smooth-sailing for Barcelona in recent weeks and our La Liga expert Mark Sochon is not convinced that iffy run will end on Sunday night...

Real Betis vs Barcelona Betting Tips:

  • Back the Draw @ 3/1
  • Back Real Betis Over 11.5 Shots & Real Betis Over 0.5 Goals @ 5/4

It’s a tough one for Barcelona this weekend as they travel to Seville and the Benito Villamarin to take on a Real Betis side who are defending an unbeaten home record in La Liga 2023/24.

Every game feels like a pressure match for Xavi and his team right now and this is certainly no exception. A 4-1 defeat against Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup Final last weekend has got many pundits sharpening the knives with a summer coaching change at Barcelona looking like a real possibility.

The next two games could have a big impact on whether or not that transpires. Fail to win against Betis and Barcelona will most likely end Sunday with a double digit deficit at the top of La Liga with Girona currently eight points better off while Real Madrid have a seven point advantage.

Barcelona then travel to in-form Athletic Club, who are also currently above them in the league, in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. There’s a risk that Barca’s domestic campaign could completely unravel over the next four days if Xavi cannot get a couple of big performances from his team.

On a slightly brighter note, we did at least see a reaction from Barcelona in midweek, but only after they’d fallen behind against third tier Unionistas in their Copa del Rey Last 16 tie.

The minnows could actually have been two up had they also taken a great early chance, but Barca responded with a breakaway goal from Ferran Torres. That was followed by powerful Second Half strikes from defenders Alejandro Blade and Jules Kounde, two players who’ve been heavily criticised for their recent performance levels.

Despite some obvious defensive issues, Barcelona have still won five of their last six matches in all competitions. That kind of record hardly sounds like they are in the midst of a crisis but their inability to make light work of vastly inferior sides is striking and this will be a much sterner test than all of those games with the exception of last weekend’s heavy Clasico defeat.

Manuel Pellegrini has done a brilliant job at Real Betis. The Chilean, a Premier League winner with Manchester City a decade ago, has turned the Seville club into European regulars and right now they are unquestionably the strongest team in the city.

Betis have been dealing with injury problems and defensive selection headaches for much of the campaign. However they’ve really improved at the back since losing 5-0 in Barcelona back in September when the Catalans were still riding a wave of early season optimism.

Despite that heavy defeat, Betis have a better defensive record than their opponents heading into this game with only two sides having conceded fewer in La Liga.

They’ve been particularly tough to break down at the Benito Villamarin with just four goals conceded in ten unbeaten home league games. That’s some record when you consider they’ve already hosted Real Madrid, Girona and Atletico Madrid. Avoid defeat here and they’ll fancy their chances of going the whole season without losing at home in the league.

While it hasn’t always been scintillating viewing, Betis have offered just enough at the other end to win plenty of games and maintain another European push. A resurgent Isco has perhaps been the signing of the season in La Liga while 18 year old winger Assane Diao has been one of the big breakthrough acts and is sure to ask questions of Barca’s right back in this game.

Team News:

Barcelona travel to the Benito Villamarin with little change to their fitness situation. Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Inigo Martinez, Gavi, Raphinha and Marcos Alonso are still out while Joao Cancelo remains a major doubt.

Xavi opted to leave Pedri, Robert Lewandowski and Ilkay Gundogan on the bench in the cup against Unionistas on Thursday. All three did come on in the Second Half and all will return to the starting lineup here. We could also see a change on the flanks with Ferran Torres, Joao Felix and Lamine Yamal competing for two places right now.

Punters should be aware that Betis are also a bit short on numbers right now. They’ve three players away on AFCON duty including young centre-back Chadi Riad who has been a factor in their defensive improvement in recent months.

Guido Rodriguez and Ayoze Perez are two more regulars who are sidelined through injury while they have doubts over midfielder William Carvalho and left back Juan Miranda.

Match Odds:

Real Betis come into the game priced at 3/1 for the win, while you can back Barcelona at 4/5 and the Draw at 3/1.

There have been plenty of goals in recent Barca matches. You can back Over 2.5 Goals at 4/6 here while Both Teams to Score is priced at 8/13. You can use the #PickYourPunt tool to combine the two and back Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams to Score at 10/11, a winning bet in five of Barcelona’s last six matches in all competitions.

One man to keep an eye on in this game is Isco who, as a former Real Madrid player, will be hungry to sink his former rivals. The attacking midfielder scored the only goal as Betis beat Granada 1-0 here last weekend and you can back Isco to score first at 12/1 while he’s priced at 4/1 to score anytime.

As is usually the case, Robert Lewandowski is the 5/4 favourite in the Anytime Goalscorer market and the striker did net in both Super Cup matches. Ferran Torres has also grabbed a couple of important goals since the turn of the year and he’s 2/1 to score anytime here.

Bet 1 - Draw @ 3/1

Barcelona have drawn over half of their away league games this season and this is one of their toughest away assignments yet, so it’s hard to feel confident about their chances of claiming all three points.

Betis haven’t lost here in La Liga since last May, but nor have they managed to upset any of the strongest teams with draws in all of their home games against teams currently above them in the table.

Pellegrini may well be content enough to settle for a repeat here, particularly with their lengthy absentee list, so I can see this being quite an even game and I’m backing the Draw at 3/1.

Bet 2 - Real Betis Over 11.5 Shots & Real Betis Over 0.5 Goals @ 5/4

Real Betis may not be the most prolific team in the division, but they’ve only failed to score once at home this season and they’ve got enough quality in attacking areas to ask questions of what hasn’t been a convincing Barcelona defence of late.

It’s just one clean sheet in nine competitive outings for Xavi’s team so there’s strong reason to expect a Betis goal at some point in this match. The Andalusian side also tend to get plenty of shots off with 14 in their 1-1 draw against Real Madrid and 21 in a 1-1 draw against Girona, both of which were in December.

Given that, I’m using the #PickYourPunt builder to back Real Betis Over 11.5 Shots and Real Betis Over 0.5 Goals at 5/4.

You can check out Mark's La Liga Betting Tips along with those from the rest of the Betfred Insights Spanish Football writers on our La Liga home page...

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