Real Betis (13th, 28pts) vs FC Barcelona (2nd, 46pts)*
*Points and positions at the time of writing on Saturday
Competition/Round: 2019-20 La Liga, Matchday 23
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Gerard Piqué, Luis Suárez, Ousmane Dembélé, Neto (out)
Real Betis Outs & Doubts: Juanmi, Andrés Guardado, Zouhair Feddal (out), Alfonso Pedraza (doubt)
Date/Time: Sunday, February 9, 2020, 9pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 8pm GMT (UK), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 1.30am IST (India, Monday)
Venue: Estadio Benito Villamarín, Seville, Spain
Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez
How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA & Canada), LaLigaTV (UK), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), Movistar LaLiga (Spain), Not Available (India), others
Following a cruel exit from the Copa del Rey against Athletic Bilbao in midweek, Barcelona return to action in La Liga with a trip to the Benito Villamarín for what is always a tough away game against Real Betis. The home team has disappointed this season after building a strong squad in the summer, but new manager Rubi has finally found his best team, and Betis have four wins and just two losses in their last eight league games.
Sunday’s game is special for Quique Setién, who returns to the Villamarín for the first time since leaving Betis. Setién was there for less than two years but was beloved by players and fans, and he’ll surely get a very nice reception from the crowd. But now it’s about Barça, and Quique was adamant that the loss to Athletic provided him with a lot of positives to take into the next few matches.
Barça will most likely be six points behind Real Madrid at kickoff and must win to keep pace with their rivals, but they haven’t had a good away performance in La Liga all season. After doing it in the Copa just three days ago, can they keep up the good work and make a statement on the road against a good team? We’ll find out.
This will be fun.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Umtiti, Lenglet, Alba; De Jong, Busquets, Arthur; Roberto, Messi, Griezmann
Real Betis (4-1-4-1): Robles; Emerson, Mandi, Bartra, Moreno; Edgar; Fekir, Canales, Aleñá, Joaquín; Iglesias
I believe in the Law of the Ex even when it comes to managers, and if we can have a very good away performance at a brutal place like San Mamés, then we can play well at Betis too: 3-1 Barça, and a happy ending to a bad week.