Betis can take a step closer to promotion on Sunday when they take on Lugo at el estadio Benito Villamarín in what could be the start of a season-defining week.
Pepe Mel’s men are in his spirits after a vital 2-1 away win at Mallorca last week to maintain their lead of four points at the top of La Segunda. Betis’ home form this season has been very good, winning two thirds of their 18 encounters and losing three.
As we know, Rubén Castro and Jorge Molina have been in dazzling form. Castro has scored 26 goals this season with Molina weighing in with 16 in La Segunda. However, Castro picked up a bit of a virus after the game in Mallorca, but has trained this week and will be in the squad for Sunday.
Lolo Reyes is a doubt, but Pepe Mel has postponed his squad announcement until Sunday morning to see if he can include Reyes or not. The only definite absence is Dani Pacheco who has a strain of the ankle and will be out for the next two games. Both players didn’t train on Saturday.
Dani Ceballos has been training with week in Madrid with the Spanish u19s. However, he returned to Betis at the end of the week and has been training with the first team and he will play this weekend.
The Opponents – Lugo
Lugo on the other hand are stuck in mediocrity. They are currently 14th: eight points off the drop zone and ten points off a playoff place. Their away form is one of the worst in the league having picked up just 12 points in 18 games on the road. They are not on a great run of form at the minute and are without a win in five games. Their last win came at the the very beginning of April with a 4-0 home drubbing of Mallorca.
I wouldn’t say Lugo have nothing to play for as they could theoretically still get dragged into the relegation fight, but it is highly unlikely. In Israel Puerto they have ‘a friend in the enemy’ to Betis as Marca.com put it. Puerto grew up in a family full of béticos, but learnt his football trade as a youth team player at Sevilla. This will be the first time he has faced Betis as a professional. The 21-year-old defender has played nine times for Lugo this season, scoring once.
The match against Lugo is the start of what will be a busy and incredibly important week for Betis with three games in seven games: Lugo, Racing Santander and Alcorcón.
By the end of this week we are likely to know whether Betis will be gracing La Liga with their presence once more next season.
Look out for the grand entrance the fans are planning to give the players as they enter the field! #PapelillosAlVillamarín is the hashtag the fans will be using for Twitter.