FC Barcelona (18th, 0pts) vs Real Betis (17th, 0pts)
Competition/Round: 2019-20 La Liga, Matchday 2
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Ousmane Dembélé, Neto, Carles Aleñá, Moussa Wagué, Jean-Clair Todibo (out)
Real Betis Outs & Doubts: Joel Robles, Borja Iglesias (out)
Date/Time: Sunday, August 25, 2019, 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India, Monday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: José Luis González González
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), ITV 4 (UK), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), Not Available (India), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), others
How to stream: FuboTV (USA), beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA & Canada), ITV Hub (UK), Facebook Watch (India), others
Following a very disappointing 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the first La Liga game of the season, Barcelona are back in action with the first home match of the new campaign as they welcome Real Betis to the Greatest Stadium on Earth. Both teams lost on opening weekend, with Betis suffering a defeat at home to Valladolid after playing almost the entire match with 10 men.
Considering Betis’ investment over the summer it’s safe to say both teams come into this one under pressure: the visitors won at Camp Nou last season and should be good enough to at least come close to that again, and the hosts must respond after one of the worst non-football weeks in recent memory.
Sure, the days after Roma and Liverpool were terrible but they were caused by things on the pitch. This week it was all off-field crap: Ousmane Dembélé may or may not have hidden a serious hamstring injury and may or may not have permanently damaged his relationship with the club and the fans; Philippe Coutinho was loaned out for less than 10 million euros when the club reportedly wanted 25 and Barça may or may have not violated a gentleman’s agreement with Bayern Munich to not disclose the terms of the deal, which is common in Germany and make Barça look like idiots; the Neymar saga continues as Barça keep ignoring the fact PSG will never sell.
It’s just a lot of bad news and uncertainty and unhappy comments sections everywhere, and to make things worse Lionel Messi is out against Betis despite training normally with the group for the last four days and really not trying to show the cameras he’s at least trying to welcome Antoine Griezmann into the team.
The vibe is terrible right now, and only a win and a strong performance will at least give us a reason to smile on Sunday until the bad news come back on Monday. Thing is, there’s no reason to believe we’ll get a win and play well. Remember last game?
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, De Jong; Rafinha, Griezmann, Pérez
Real Betis (4-2-3-1): Martín; Emerson, Bartra, Sidnei, Pedraza; William, Guardado; Joaquín, Canales, Tello; Fekir
Crazy to say this about the second game of the season, but it’s a must-win, and we usually do well on those: 2-0 Barça. Valverde Masterclass. Yay.