Tuesday 9pm BST sees two old foes lock horns again in the 125th instalment of one the most explosive derby matches in Europe. The game is never without drama and flashes of controversy and form never really counts for much – I suggest you get to grips with el gran derbi in this post before:
- Sitting back and enjoying the action (neutrals)
- Being put through mild heart complications (more likely Betis fans)
After his two game touchline ban Gus Poyet will be back on the sideline to go toe-to-toe with Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli. Both sides have had ‘as you would expect’ starts to the season. Sevilla are unbeaten in four with two wins coming at home, and Betis are characteristically unpredictable with one win, two draws and a loss and find themselves mid-table.
Last weekend both sides drew when they really should have beaten the opposition. Sevilla drew away 1-1 to an Eibar side that finished with 9 men and Betis were 2-0 down at home to Granada before Alex Alegría grabbed two goals to earn a point. The youngster impressed and dug Betis out of a pit with two fine finishes – one a bullet header and the other a very composed slotted left footer.
Both managers were disappointed with their respective results and will certainly be looking to make amends on Tuesday night. For the two South American managers, it will be their first taste of the Seville derby which has spilt bad blood in the recent past, quite literally. They’ve both faced their fair share of tough derbies, but the Seville one is unique to both.
Likely Tactics from Betis
We know Sevilla are incredibly strong at home and the Ramón Sanchéz Pizjuán will be loud, intimidating and volatile. Los verdiblancos haven’t beaten their city rivals in the last six attempts, including four last season, and Tuesday is going to be no easier.
I think Poyet is going to try and sure the leaky defence up and not go blow for blow with Sevilla, of which he would be stupid to do so. Riza Durmisi is brilliant going forward but has been caught out a few times already this season and we hope he can learn quickly from his mistakes. Poyet will set up similar to the Valencia match in a 4-3-2-1 formation with perhaps Dani Ceballos or Gutiérrez coming in for Fabián in the centre. Rubén – Alegría – Joaquín will provide the spearhead in attack.
Despite Poyet’s likely defensive shape, if you’re of the betting persuasion there are going to be goals in this game and I’m hoping not too many against an already shaky looking Betis defence. We have conceded the joint second most this season with 10 (only Espanyol on 11 are worse – and that’s mainly because Sevilla themselves battered six past them on the opening day of the season!)
Betis are exciting to watch once more, especially for the neutral. Against Valencia we lost a 2-0 lead before snatching a 90th minute winner, and against Granada we recovered a 2-0 deficit to draw. I can probably see this trend continuing on Tuesday and with it a few more cardiac issues for followers.
Ones To Watch
Luciano Vietto (Sevilla) – the man on-loan from Atlético Madrid has already made his mark three times in Sevilla and is doing a good job so far at plugging the Kevin Gameiro shaped hole up front.
Rubén Castro (Betis) – there aren’t many blogs I write where I don’t mention his name and now even more so considering his is La Liga’s pichichi. He’s bagged four goals in four and I wouldn’t put it past him finding the back of the net again against the old rivals.
Big thanks to my friend Johnny Hall for designing the ‘el derbi sevillano’ banner. You can find more of his great designs, including some brilliant ones for sale, at www.jhallgraphics.co.uk and follow him on Twitter @jhallgraphics.
Sevilla FC vs Real Betis
Tuesday 20th September – 21:00 BST (22:00 CET)
Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán