This post doesn’t need to many words really. Yesterday, the club passed a huge landmark when the sold season ticket number 43,000 – the most ever sold by the club.
I’ve mentioned on here before the vastness of that number in comparison to a number of European footballing giants. What an achievement.
Now, with the return of Señor Sanchez almost 10 years after he left, the club has a buzz around the place. 20,000 fans went to the stadium to welcome their hero back. I don’t think I have ever seen a happier player being unveiled. He was genuinely beaming and absolutely bursting with pride to grace his sevillano home once more.
The starting 11 has been confirmed for tonight’s game and it is as follows:
Guille Sara in goal; Chica, Amaya, Paulao and Nacho in defence; Matilla and Xavi Torres set back in midfield; Salva Sevilla through the middle; Vadillo and Juanfran providing pace and skill on the wings and the big man Jorge Molina up top.
I like the look of that team. It is well balanced and there is a good deal of pace out wide. Salva will be providing the magic in the centre of midfield with the absence of Verdú and Jorge WILL be providing the goals with the absence of Rubén.
That does mean that the impressive Cedrick starts on the bench as does Nosa. There is a return to the squad for number 9 Chuli. The rest of the bench consists of Braian, Jordi, Lolo Reyes and Anderson.
Valencia incidentally, line up like this:
Diego Alves; Joao Pereira, Ricardo Costa, Mathieu, Bernat; Banega, Oriol Romeu, Parejo; Jonas, Pabón y Postiga.
A familiar name second from the end. Pabón will get a good cheer at the beginning but hopefully Paulao and Amaya can keep him quiet during the game.
It is kick off time in just over 30 minutes. Mucho Betis mucho Betis eh eh!
A return to Betis for Valencia player Dorlan Pabón
It’s been a whole two weeks since Betis played out a bore 0-0 draw away to Espanyol, gaining their first point of the season after two (unjust) defeats against Real Madrid and Celta Vigo.
The players have had a good chance to recuperate but they are still injury concerns. Unfortunately, Rubén Castro is still injured from the on-going problem with his hamstrings/sciatic nerve. He went to visit a specialist spinal consultant yesterday in Barcelona with Tomás Calero (head of Betis medical services) who must have given Rubén some good news as he tweeted last night, “already at home relaxed and happy that everything is OK.” Doctor Enric Cáceres told him to rest for 48 hours and return to training on Monday. That outlook is looking optimistic.
Other absentees for tomorrow’s game include Joan Verdú and Juan Carlos. By my reckoning that means that goals will be even harder to come by! Also concerning Pepe Mel will be the fact that Betis kick off their Europa League campaign on Thursday with a fairly mouthwatering tie against Lyon. With lots of fronts to fight on, having a fully fit squad is vital for success.
Away from the football field there have been some changes at the club. One of the key members of the technical staff, Emilio Vega, has been dismissed. Unless the situation changes radically, he will not be given a new position. Vega was second in rank to Sporting Director Vlada Stosic and played an important part in the identification and negotiation of many new signings. However, it has been said that the relationship between him and the rest of the technical team, Vlada Stosic, Aurelio Santos, Keke Durán and Angel Luis Catalina, has recently deteriorated. There is completely no mention of this change at all on the official club website. In his press conference however, Pepe Mel did say thanks to Vega for his work.
Tomorrow night will also see the return of Dorlan Pabón to el Benito Villamarín. Pabón joined Betis on loan last January from Parma and played a key role in securing a Europa League place for Betis. The club tried to sign him during the summer but could not afford him. Instead he joined Valencia for around €7.5 million. He will get a great reception from los Béticos, no doubt. I wish Betis would have signed him as he is a constant goal threat.