As Real Betis Balompié official website put it – El EuroBetis entra en escena siete años después – EuroBetis enter the stage 7 years later.
Tonight’s game against Czech Republic opposition, FK Jablonec, will cap a remarkable turnaround for the Real Betis. To say a lot has happened since Betis took on the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Anderlecht in the Champions League group stages, would be an understatement.
Relegation. Theft. Fraud. Administration. Law suits. Promotion.
And now here we are on the cusp of full blown European competition again – 7 years and 5 months, or 2,716 days, since Betis bowed out to Steaua Bucharest in quarter finals of the UEFA cup in 2006.
Betis are now in a much better place and are being led by two incredible Spaniards who are Béticos through and through. Miguel Guillén and Rafael Gordillo travelled yesterday from Seville to Prague to lead the green and white army into battle. In tow were Pepe Mel and 20 players picked to do the business.
The likely line-ups for tonight’s game are:
Real Betis: Sara; Steinhöfer, Paulao, Perquis, Nacho; Xavi Torres, Nosa, Verdú; Vadillo, Cedrick & Jorge Molina.
FK Jablonec: Spit; Kubista, Kysela, Benes, Novak; Kopic, Loucka, Pitak, Cizek; Vanek & Hubnik.
The game kicks off in the aptly named Chance Arena at 5pm GMT (6pm CET).
Betis obviously need to win the tie over two legs to be put into the draw for the Europa League group stages. If they can do that, it will be an unbelievable moment for the club once again.
Picture from http://www.alfinaldelapalmera.com