FC Barcelona (12th, 8pts LOL) vs Real Betis (7th, 12pts)
Competition/Round: 2020-21 La Liga, Matchday 9
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Philippe Coutinho, Ronald Araujo, Samuel Umtiti, Matheus Fernandes (out)
Real Betis Outs & Doubts: Dani Martin, Víctor Camarasa, Juanmi, Andrés Guardado, Nabil Fekir (out)
Date/Time: Saturday, November 7, 2020, 4.15pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 3.15pm GMT (UK), 10.15am ET, 7.15am PT (USA), 8.45pm IST (India)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Guillermo Cuadra Fernández
VAR: Santiago Jaime Latre
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), Not Available (India), others
Following a hard-fought win against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, Barcelona return to action in La Liga facing Real Betis at the Greatest Stadium on Earth in the final game before the international break.
Barça remain perfect in Europe, but this is not the case in the league. The Catalans have just eight points after six matches, an abysmal start for a team looking to fight for the title against a very inconsistent Real Madrid and other teams that will probably run out of steam as the season goes on.
It’s still too early to be desperate about the domestic campaign, especially because Barça have two games in hand that they didn’t play at the start of the season, but the wasting of points has to stop NOW.
But it’s not only about the points. Ronald Koeman’s team is not playing good football for most of the season, and the consistency of performance is as important as the table if the Dutch wants to keep his job with the next president, and his only chance to do that is to have this team compete for something this season. And they’re not looking like it right now. not even close.
Betis have been just as inconsistent as Barça and have lost two of their last three, but this is a talented team with a coach in Manuel Pellegrini who won’t be afraid to attack Barça’s shaky defense.
This must be a complete, 90-minute performance on both sides of the ball against a good team to prove that Barça are capable of going on a run. Then we can begin trusting this team, which is very hard right now.
Barcelona (4-2-3-1): Ter Stegen; Dest, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Busquets, De Jong; Dembélé, Pedri, Fati; Messi
Real Betis (4-2-3-1): Bravo; Emerson, Mandi, Bartra, Moreno; William, Rodríguez; Joaquín, Canales, Tello; Sanabria
These two always play matches that are super fun and high-scoring, especially at Camp Nou, and I don’t expect this to be any different: 5-2 Barça, and probably one of those games that happens every three or four weeks where you get REALLY excited about Barça until they’re terrible in the next one.