Betis are to wear a specially commissioned green and white hooped shirt for the game against Málaga on 28th February to celebrate Andalucía Day, and also in a nod to their Celtic-based origins.
Los Verdiblancos will travel east to, quite fittingly, take on their Andalucian rivals in a game that will not only be remembered for the 5-0 thumping I’m envisioning we give to los boquerones. The game against Málaga will mark the end of a triple header for Betis against Andalucian opposition after taking on Granada and Sevilla in the two games before.
Tonight is the night to get into the draw tomorrow. Betis can secure their place in the Europa League main draw which is taking place tomorrow in Monaco with a victory over their Czech opponents.
Betis won a week ago with a 2-1 away victory in the Czech Republic to give their team a great chance to advance. However, the lead is slender and with Betis’ shaky defence and finishing issues against Celta they need to be very careful, smart and focussed. Betis have an uncanny knack of making things really complicated for themselves from controlled positions. No doubt Pepe Mel has drilled all this into his players: this is the biggest game the club has played for years. As AFDLP put it, Betis have to enjoy, live for the moment and enrich their experience – that goes for the fans as well!
The 19 Pepe Mel has picked to send Betis to Europa League proper are: Andersen, Sara; Nacho, Jordi Figueras, Paulao, Amaya, Chica; Carlos García, Nono, Matilla, Salva Sevilla, Xavi Torres, Verdú, Cedrick, Juanfran; Chuli, Braian, Jorge Molina & Rubén Castro.
No place in the squad for Vadillo, who started last week, or for Markus Steinhofer. Perquis is out after getting injured against Celta.
Expect Pepe Mel to change his system to more of a 4-4-2, although a slightly asymmetrical one. We could see Salva Sevilla and Juanfran form a part of the starting line-up. Jorge Molina will start again upfront, hopefully with his scoring boots, and Rubén Castro will take his place on the bench having just come back from injury. Hopefully Rubén will only need to be used as part of a planned second half change and not in haste or panic.
The game kicks off at 20:30 GMT so there is a little over than an hour till kick off. For sure el Benito Villamarín will be bouncing. Mucha suerta to the players – let’s get in that draw!
The first post is much more daunting than I thought it would be. You set up a blog to share your words and none end up coming! Then logic kicks in, why not start at the beginning?
And here it is, the beginning, where my journey on the beticismo road kicked off. It was July 2010 and it was a bright, glorious day in Chipiona – a small, coastal town in the south-west corner of Spain. Home no less, to the tallest lighthouse in Spain, the third tallest in Europe and to several exquisite varieties of Moscatel (or what was soon to be known as ‘sunshine in glass’). My girlfriend and I were also only staying here because there was no room to stay in the town of our intentions, Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
However, it was in this town of Chipiona where I first came across this great piece of artwork that captured my attention – Peña Cultural Bética. It made me think and it made me want to learn more. Now at this point I must admit, as I embarked on my journey to live in Spain I fully expected that I would come to support the nearest La Liga team, which was Sevilla FC. A certain Real Betis side, languishing in La Segunda, did not cross my mind.
We soon made it to Sanlúcar where I was introduced and further inducted to the sleeping giant of Real Betis. The green and white bandera of Andalucía was everywhere as were lots of Béticos! There was even more green and white to be seen from the local team, Atlético Sanluqueño. It seemed natural that I should support Real Betis. And so I did. And here I am now, still.
My plan now is to bring news and write musings about Real Betis and other such verdiblanco-ness. I hope you enjoy reading the work in progress that is this Bético Blog.
Viva Andalucía y musho Betis!