Betis have hit a rich vein of form, yes that’s correct they beat Valencia last weekend; a whole one win on the bounce. It was a savoured moment, a glimpse of light striking through a long, dark tunnel that we’ve been recently travelling through.
Betis’ last league win came at the tail end of November when they beat Levante. Since then they’d gone 9 league games without a win. Looks like Gary Neville is gunning for that record with the way his Valencia team are playing. I’m going to say Betis deserved the victory last weekend. It was 1-0 and Valencia could have snatched a point towards the end but it wasn’t to be and Betis hung on for a much needed win. I must admit we have looked a lot better in our last four games against some very good La Liga teams – draw against Villarreal and Madrid, narrow defeat at Real Sociedad and a win against Valencia.
Deportivo La Coruña – Saturday 9:05pm GMT
Juan Merino and his men face draw-specialists Deportivo this Saturday at La Riazor. The team from Galicia have drawn their last four games and have recently started to slide a little after a very good start to the season. They are still in 9th place though and have pulled off some good wins this season, including a 2-1 away win at el Benito Villamarín.
The reason Depor have drawn so many games this season (13 in La Liga) is that they are a very solid team with their own Rubén Castro equivalent banging in the goals up top – Lucas Pérez.
During January Betis delved ever so slightly into the transfer market snatching a few players on-loan, including Charly Musonda, who had a startling debut last weekend. He started on the right hand side of midfield, pairing up with the other new loanee, Martin Montoya. It worked. Musonda looked dangerous, fearless and with bags of potential. Just the player we need; someone who can run with the ball at his feet and cause problems to La Liga defences.
He should be starting again today with Montoya occupying the RB position. Rubén Castro will be upfront, possibly paired with Van Wolfswinkel again unless Merino decides to go with just one in attack and pack the midfield out. Very good news for Betis is that big German defender Heiko Westermann is back in the squad and in the reckoning for a start. Ceballos makes the journey to La Coruña after an injury scare but the third loanee, Leandro Damiao, doesn’t make the trip. After being suspended last weekend, the man who scored the wondergoal against Real Madrid, Alvaro Cejudo, is back in the squad. The rest of the team should be unchanged, including the phenomenal Adán in goal.
Viva el Betis!