Following their disappointing loss against Real Betis last Saturday night, FC Barcelona are ready to rebound against Real Betis at Camp Nou this Saturday at 20:00 (GMT+1). Watch live coverage at Camp Nou here.
Barcelona Look to Bounce Back After Midweek Loss to Rayo Vallecano in La Liga Clash with Real Betis
Barcelona were stunned in a midweek round of fixtures by Rayo Vallecano after conceding goals in both halves of their 90-minute match, even following Robert Lewandowski’s goal from 83′. Garcia Rivera (19′) and Fran Garcia (53) scored early goals to keep Rayo Vallecano ahead. “We didn’t have control,” stated Barcelona captain Ivan Rakitic afterwards. “We were never comfortable at any point and played poorly,” said Xavi in the prematch press conference after Wednesday’s loss to Barcelona [WDDWL]. Now Xavi is eager to put that midweek setback behind him and help lead Barcelona back towards victory with seven matches remaining on their schedule. Real Madrid [65 points] also experienced defeat in midweek’s fixtures, falling to Girona 4-2 to leave Barca’s 11-point advantage intact at the top. Catalonians have amassed 76 points [24W, 4D, 3L] through 31 matches but lost their last home game against Betis 1-0. On Saturday, they’ll aim to avoid back-to-back league and home defeats against Real Betis as they make their 32nd appearance of the season in La Liga. Ferran Torres will keep his place on the left against Red Sashes but may drop back to bench in favour of Ansu Fati under Xavi’s 4–3–3 formation. Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, who have scored six goals from 29 appearances this season, are expected to join Fati in attacking mode. Ousmane Dembele is taking longer than anticipated to recover from his muscle injury but may make a cameo here along with Andreas Christensen; Sergi Roberto remains out due to suspension; Sergio Busquets returns after missing Vallecano due to yellow card suspension.
Real Betis Draw Real Sociedad, Remain Winless Over Last Two Matches, Eye Barcelona Showdown
Real Betis secured a goalless draw against Real Sociedad on Tuesday during midweek fixtures and remain winless over their last two matches, LLWLD. After 26 games of league competition (14 wins, 7 draws and 10 defeats) Real Betis are in 5th position on 49 points (14 wins, 7 draws and 10 defeats). An unlikely win against Barcelona on Saturday could help Real Betis close in on fourth-place Sociedad who take on Osasuna on Friday; A 4–2–3-1 formation should feature Ayoze Perez upfront while Manuel Pellegrini will misses key players Nabil Fekir (whom they cannot replace), Juanmi Jimenez Victor Ruiz Torre and Youssouf Sabaly due to injury.