Sevilla vs Real Betis
Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan forms the backdrop for an all-Seville La Liga showdown between eternal rivals Sevilla and Real Betis.
New Sevilla manager Diego Alonso is still searching for his first competitive win against a top-flight opponent since taking charge in October (D3, L2), with his only success coming in a Copa del Rey fixture against a lower-league Quintanar de la Orden. ‘Los Rojiblancos’ have drawn their last four league outings on the trot and found themselves only four points clear of the relegation zone at the start of this season. A 2-0 defeat at Arsenal in midweek Champions League action further diminished their continental ambitions, nailing them to the bottom of their group. But if it’s any consolation, they’ve thrived in this fixture, racking up an eye-catching eight wins in their last ten H2Hs at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan (D1, L1) in La Liga.
On the other hand, Betis dismantled Aris 4-1 in the Europa League in midweek, making it 11 unbeaten matches on the spin (W7, D4), all of which saw them concede under 1.5 goals. In fact, Manuel Pellegrini’s men have won their last five competitive games, including victories over Mallorca and Osasuna in La Liga that have catapulted them within a five-point distance of fourth-placed Atletico Madrid. But playing away from home hasn’t been Betis’ strong suit by any stretch of the imagination, with ‘Los Verdiblancos’ only winning once on their six La Liga travels this season (D3, L2). Interestingly, their last three away league outings have yielded an identical 1-1 scoreline, extending their underwhelming run without a clean sheet to eight league games on the road.