With just two matches left for every team in La Liga, the final table is coming into focus. Much has been decided already, but the two Europa League spots are still up for grabs.
The result of the second Sevilla Derby could determine those final two spots. Currently, Real Betis and Villarreal are in line to grab those places. Betis is sitting on 59 points, while Villarreal has 57 points. Sevilla is within striking distance at 54 points, but they need to pick up a win in order to have a chance at sneaking into the Europa League.
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Real Betis vs. Sevilla FC
Date and Time: May 12, 2018, 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Estadio Benito Villamarin, Sevilla, Spain
US Television Coverage: beIN Sports
Betting Line: Sevilla PK -116, O/U 3
We’ve seen some great play out of Real Betis this campaign. This club looks set to have their best season in over a dozen years. They have recorded wins over Real Madrid, Sevilla, and Villarreal this season and only recently saw an eight-match unbeaten streak come to an end.
As for Sevilla, this club posted its most successful Champions League campaign ever. They made it to the quarterfinals for the second time ever, and this time in a much deeper field.
However, their play in La Liga left something to be desired over the latter half of the season. Sevilla was only able to win one time during March and April sending them tumbling down the table. The club has since recovered and won their last two matches, but it is probably too little, too late.
There are some real questions for Real Betis on the injury front. As of yet, we still don’t know who the team’s goalkeeper will be in this match. Starter Antonio Adan suffered a season-ending injury last month and that thrust Dani Gimenez into the spotlight. Gimenez performed well, but he pulled a hamstring in a match just three weeks later and he has now missed the last two. He is considered questionable coming into this match, and if he cannot play Pedro Lopez will get the start.
Real Betis has other issues on this front as well. Center back Zouhair Feddal and left back Junior Firpo are long-term injuries. Right wing Francis Guerrero and central midfielder Andres Guardado are considered questionable, with Guardado more likely to play than Guerrero.
For Sevilla, there are three players listed on the injury report. Right back Sebastien Corchia is a long-term injury, but center back Simon Kjaer and right wing Jesus Navas are more recent additions. Kjaer and Navas are each listed as questionable, yet it seems unlikely that either one will play.
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Spanish La Liga Free Picks
When these teams met in early January, the goals would not stop coming. Sevilla’s back line played one of their worst games of the season, allowing Real Betis to net five goals in a 5-3 victory.
Unfortunately for Sevilla, that has been a rather common theme. They are allowing over 1.5 goals per game at this point of the season and have a goal differential of -10. That’s a shocker for a team that is in contention for a spot in Europe, but the team has been a little lucky in that regard.
The problems in the back line will continue here. Real Betis will be able to find gaps in Sevilla’s defense once more. That will lead to the match going over the total and Betis getting the result they need to lock in a spot. It will leave Sevilla asking some difficult questions over the coming few months of the offseason.
Spanish La Liga Prediction: Sevilla FC 2, Real Betis 2