La Liga Game of the Week Preview – Real Betis vs Real Madrid

Friday, January 11th, 2019

By Jonathan Willis
La Liga Odds Real Betis vs Real Madrid

The unthinkable may happen this year…Real Madrid might not qualify for Champions League play next season. The Kings of Europe have dominated the Champions League for the last three years, but this year no one is giving Real Madrid a chance to make it four in a row after a rough first four months. Additionally, they are 10 points off the pace of league leaders Barcelona in the La Liga race, and nearly halfway through the season, they are in fifth place and even trailing a relative minnow like Alaves. A loss on the road to Real Betis at this point would be disastrous, but there’s a very real chance of that happening.

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Real Betis vs. Real Madrid

  • Date and Time: January 13, 2019, 3 p.m. ET
  • Location: Estadio Benito Villamarin, Sevilla, Spain
  • US Television Coverage: beIN Sports
  • Betting Line: Real Madrid PK and -0.5, O/U 3

Recent Form

It’s been another good year for Real Betis. The club has stopped the yo-yoing that plagued them over the early part of the decade, and they even qualified for the Europa League after a sixth place finish last year. They picked up an infusion of cash by making it to the knockout rounds of the competition, and they are in sixth place in the La Liga table. Betis are 4-1-2 in their last seven La Liga matches, and they were able to defeat Barcelona 4-3 in a wild one in Camp Nou. Betis are looking to bounce back after a tough loss to last place SD Huesca last weekend.

The problem might not have been Julen Lopetegui after all. Lopetegui didn’t even make it a third of the way through the season before being sacked by Real Madrid. B Team manager Santi Solari took over after Lopetegi was canned, and after some initial signs of life, the club has once again sputtered. Madrid could only settle for a draw last week against Villarreal, and they were shut out at home by Real Sociedad last weekend.

Soccer Sports Betting

Key Absences

Betis won’t have three players available for this match. Sidnei will be sidelined by a shoulder injury that has kept him out since late December, while Wilfrid Jaures Kaptoum and Junior Firpo will each be out for this match too. Takashi Inui and Sergio Leon have both been deemed questionable.

Injuries have wreaked havoc on Real Madrid this year, and they will be severely short-handed for this match. Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Marco Asensio, Marcos Llorente, and Thibaut Courtois are all going to miss this game because of injury. Lucas Vazquez is suspended after being sent off for two yellow cards against Real Sociedad last weekend, while Karim Benzema is a game-time decision because of a leg injury.

Matchup to Watch

There haven’t been as many goals in La Liga as we usually see at this point of the season, and both these teams are having a hard time scoring goals. It’s not as big of a problem for Real Betis, as they are a smaller club that claws and scratches for results, but Real Madrid’s inability to really score has hurt them. A team with so much talent, and with those kind of wages, should be scoring more than 1.5 goals per game.

Spanish La Liga Free Picks

The draw and under are both good plays in this one. Real Madrid just haven’t been able to create much, and Solari’s refusal to play Isco has only added to the problem. Betis have one of the best home crowds in the country, and Madrid have been skating by on reputation alone, so the hosts are a bit undervalued in terms of getting a result.

Spanish La Liga Prediction: Real Madrid 1, Real Betis 1

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