FC Barcelona Versus Real Betis: Preview, Team News And Line Up

FC Barcelona Versus Real Betis: Preview, Team News And Line Up

FC Barcelona will attempt to pull eight points clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid by beating Real Betis away in La Liga on Wednesday evening.

The Blaugrana are on course for their first Spanish top flight win since 2019 under Xavi Hernandez, who has constructed a stingy defense that has leaked just six goals thus far in 2022/2023.

After beating the Andalusians on penalties in Riyadh three weeks ago, on their way to a Super Cup win and maiden piece of silverware under their head coach, Barca face Betis once again but on their patch in Sevilla this time.

Speaking in his prematch press conference on Tuesday, Xavi said that the Super Cup game “is a good reference because [Manuel] Pellegrini doesn’t change his system much”.

“It was hard then and in their stadium it’ll be harder still … I’m more worried about this game than the transfer market, to be honest.”

“Against Espanyol we were great and we drew, we were weak in attack against Girona but we won,” Xavi added.

“We really should be playing with the kind of intensity that Girona did. What we want to do is always play like we did in the Super Cup Final.”

Though he has lost his best in-form winger in Ousmane Dembele for five weeks, paving the way for the likes of Raphinha, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres to step up in his injured absence, Xavi is boosted by the return of Robert Lewandowski given the Pole has now served his red card suspension.

Up front, the ex-Bayern Munich striker is expected to be aided by right winger Raphinha and Gavi, who should don his new number ‘6’ jersey as a false left winger after Barca finally managed to register his new contract.

In midfield, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong will form a partnership in front of pivot and captain Sergio Busquets.

On the defensive line, Alejandro Balde will get the nod over Jordi Alba at left back as Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen are the central defenders and Jules Kounde fills in at right back.

As said, getting three points at the Estadio Benito Villamarin is important to put pressure on Madrid in the title race ahead of Los Blancos taking on Valencia 24 hours later on Thursday.

FC Barcelona First XI: Ter Stegen; Balde, Christensen, Araujo, Kounde; Busquets, De Jong, Pedri; Gavi, Lewandowski, Raphinha.

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