The call for beticismo – a united Betis

Last night’s defeat at the hands of Atlético Madrid was painful. Very painful.

I am not going to give you a match report today as there are a fair few out there and they don’t make for good reading if you are a supporter of green and white. But if you must read one in English, try here (ForeverBetis.com) , or here (insidespanishfootball.com).

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 20.24.16

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 20.24.03

Not too happy Béticos

Unsurprisingly, there were many, many disappointed, angry Béticos. Many actually managed to air their views in person. As the players and staff boarded an AVE train home to Seville, they were also accompanied by many fans making the same journey – cue a very uncomfortable and long train ride home. No member of Betis was left out in receiving some well intended tips from the fans – Pepe Mel, the players and Rafael Gordillo were all on the end of a few verbal volleys. If fans couldn’t air their views in person then they certainly aired them on social media – the images show a couple of views from Saturday night.

Let’s begin with the excuses. Yes, Betis were without a few key and experienced names (Verdú, Xavi Torres, Paulao); but would it have made that much difference? In pre-season Verdú looked like a world-beater. I watched him on a few occasions and I thought he would slip into the Beñat-shaped hole seamlessly. However it has to be remembered that Betis were playing the likes of Huddersfield, Bolton and Wolves (no respect to any of those sides, but they aren’t quite at the level of Atlético – and neither are Betis for that matter). Verdú though hasn’t quite carried the good form he showed through to when it matters; in the league every week.

Verdú is without doubt la liga quality and it would be harsh to pick him out as the only player who hasn’t performed so far. Life is always going to be tough without the natural goalscoring Rubén Castro in your side. Without Verdú, Rubén Castro or Molina playing on Saturday, the average age of the midfield and striker was just below 22. This show that Betis have good a few good, young players on their books, but more importantly, are these players actually good enough to make it in la liga? Obviously, only time will tell us that one but it is a very precarious position for a squad to be in when the stakes are so high i.e. staying in La Primera. We have seen it in the recent past that La Liga isn’t frightened of dumping big names into the second division – I give you Zaragoza, Depor, Villarreal, Real Betis. Yes, Betis know all too well that Spain’s top division will chew you up and spit you out if you aren’t good enough for just one season.

Currently and clearly, it isn’t looking rosy for Betis. They have started the season like a slug making its way through hot tar. The defence is looking incredibly penetrable, the midfield are neither here nor there and the forwards (plus the rest of the team) are managing less than a goal a game, and that’s even including three they scored in one game against Valencia! Two wins out of 10 mean that only Osasuna and Almería are below them. It is the first time that Betis have been in a relegation zone under Pepe Mel.

Ok, so that is what has happened so far in a nutshell. Last night’s 5-0 hammering was the pinnacle. I aired my views last night on Twitter as did thousands of other supporters. The Spanish/Seville based media have not been pleasant towards Betis. 

Beticismo.net called it ‘ridículo‘ in their report. On Twitter today Beticismo also said ‘to lose in the Calderón is possible, very possible. But this attitude cannot be taken’. They are absolutely spot on. It hasn’t just been in this last game. Béticos are becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of commitment and passion being shown by a lot of players.

This has even led to some Béticos dismissing the clubs iconic phrase, Viva el Betis manquepierda – Long live Betis even when we lose. Citing that is doesn’t apply if the players don’t care. Again, I agree. There is nothing more disheartening as a fan of football than to see your beloved team go down without a fight and without a care.

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 20.24.27

BUT there is hope! We have Pepe Mel and almost all Béticos are staunchly behind him and if they are not then they should be! Pepe Mel will never back down and shy away from a scrap.

The first thing he did on Monday morning was to change his plans and open the gates so anyone who wanted to could watch the players train when the first session starts on Tuesday. As on the train last night, the players had to answer directly to the fans. A similar precedent was set the last time Betis were highly embarrassed, after losing 5-1 to eternal rivals Sevilla. It’s true that some fans displayed their views to the players and staff and that at times training was heated and intense. That is what the player need, a good kick up the backside to get them going.

Pepe Mel also immediately ordered a press conference to face the media straight up and so he could explain the situation at the club – ask me anything you like he said. He laid some home-truths, touched a few sensitive spots but remained upbeat and completely focussed on the task. We need this positive outlook to get through this rough patch. Below are just a few excerpts of what he said:

“If I jumped ship I would be a coward, a very bad professional and a very bad Bético.”

“The unity of everybody is key.”

“If we don’t win on Thursday (against Levante) it will be a small drama for us and that in match day 11 is dangerous.”

“We need players that are strong mentally, people that want the ball and enjoy the game. I don’t have a problem with that, it will be better or worse and we will have horrific days like Getafe, which has outraged me more.”

“We have time to paint the future the colour of what we want.”

“They was a more worse situation in 2010 and we got through it together and a worse situation when we lost five games in la segunda and we had to ascend because if we didn’t the club would have died.”

Let’s be honest with ourselves, Pepe Mel isn’t ratified miracle worker but he is a bloody good manager and trainer. Béticos (including me) need to accept that we can’t just rely on Rubén Castro. Mel needs to get Chuli firing. He is a very good young player, you don’t make your debut for a club like Betis and score a hat-trick if there isn’t something about you. He is in the same mould as Rubén Castro but he needs to believe in himself. Molina has shown he is a good striker but he hasn’t got the same killer instinct to be deadly, needing around five good chances before he finds the net. Without service Chuli is going to do nothing. Juanfran needs to start playing on the wing again and Cedrick needs to find the form that has Sergio Ramos and co. backing off with horror. Most of all Betis need Verdú, Salva Sevilla or Nosa to provide the driving force in midfield to get the whole team going. There is no real leader at Betis at the moment and this is a major problem. Somebody needs to pick up the mantle. It could be Matilla, it could be Nosa, it could be Paulao. The biggest problem Pepe Mel has got at the minute is getting his players to believe in themselves and unite as one on the pitch. Football is a team game but they aren’t performing as one.

As Pepe said himself, Betis have been in worse situations and have got through them together. The club, the fans, the players, the staff as one. Betis will turn this situation around, starting with Levante on Thursday.

Viva er Beti manquepierda! 

Advertisements

The moment we’ve all been waiting for…

…is finally here. Real Betis Balompié return to top class European action tonight. Standing in the way of a victory is Remí Garde’s Olympique Lyonnais.

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 18.35.30

Enjoy after so much suffering – headline from AFDLP

The squad is on a real high after out-classing Valencia at the weekend with a runaway 3-1 victory. The team tonight is likely to be much changed as Pepe Mel tries to keep things fresh. Betis bought heavily during the summer for that reason, enabling the team to battle on more than just one front.

Many have cited that tonight might be a ‘reserve’ team. Far from it. Nosa should start and Verdú is likely to return as well as Damien Perquis, both after injury lay offs. Expected to provide the defence on the flanks are Steinhofer and Dídac.   Rubén Castro is likely to be lying in wait on the bench. Béticos need not fear a dismal effort on the Europa League front. The club have worked so hard to get here, they are not going to through it all away and be out of the competition as soon as they can.

In his press conference Mel said, “Our aspirations in the Europa League are the maximum”. It’s just that Mel doesn’t want the league form to suffer, which is highly understandable. Therefore, players who played at the weekend are likely to be rested and vice versa next time.

I really like AFDLP’s headlinetoca disfrutar después de tanto sufrimiento – Enjoy after so much suffering.

There is not much else to say apart from that it all gets under at precisely 20:05 GMT in el Benito Villamarín.

Salva Sevilla and co. vanquish Valencia!

That kind of performance and show in finishing was well overdue…but was probably worth waiting for! After dominating halves against Real Madrid and Celta Vigo without scoring (and playing out a 0-0 against Espanyol), the players suddenly remembered how to score during the first half against Valencia.

salva molina valencia

Salva, Molina and Juanfran (from Real Betis official website)

Without Rubén Castro and Verdú some (many) would have been forgiven in thinking that tonight may have been a long night. But when the team sheet was released, I certainly felt a sense of optimism. I liked Matilla and Xavi Torres in the anchor role, I liked the look of Salva through the middle, I liked Juanfran and Vadillo on the wings and I was hopeful of a good Molina performance through the middle.

The team had a good balance to it and my thoughts were vindicated after 8 minutes when Molina capitalised on some shabby defending to fire into the bottom corner from just outside the box. Salva then finished off two very good passing moves. The first after some great, intricate play in the middle and the second after a strong run down the wing from Vadillo and a pinpoint cross. Betis were 3-0 up at half time and cruising.

During half time I had my doubts whether the game was actually over (naturally being a Bético and having been in similar positions before). But comfortingly Betis played out the team very well. Yes, they did concede a goal and for a minute or two a Valencia comeback could have been on, but, alas, it was squashed and Betis finished much the stronger side and could have scored a few more goals.

In my opinion not one player had a bad game and one of the most pleasing aspects was the clever tactics and substitutions from Pepe Mel. He actually brought on a DM in the shape of Lolo Reyes to help close out the game and brought on some more pace, in Cedrick, to hurt Valencia on the counter, which he did. It will be interesting to see how Pepe Mel plays it with a fully fit Rubén (who returned to training today) and Verdú.

All in all, a very pleasing night! Now there is a short wait till Thursday, when Betis make their bow in the Europa League against Lyon in el Benito Villamarín.

For an in-depth and comprehensive match report please see ForeverBetis.com where the fantastic Adam gives his frequent views and analysis.

Confirmed team news: Betis – Valencia

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!

Real Betis 1 – 2 Celta Vigo – A night of pure frustration

The headline here sums it up for me.

If you watched the first half no one could disagree with you if you said the game should be at least 5-0 to Betis. And that is not five half chances, that is five golden, guilt-edged chances. Betis started the game like a house on fire. Three corners in the first five minutes and the game continued in that fashion for the best part of 40 minutes. It was Betis vs Yoel – the Celta goalkeepers, and single-handedly the goalkeeper came out on top. Betis played fantastically well in the first half, but they could not put the ball in the back of the net and unfortunately that is what football is all about. It was the same story against Real Madrid last week. The better team but with no end product. There are only so many chances a team can have and at this level you have to take them.

cedrick missing

New man Cedrick missed a few great chances against Celta

Without Rubén Castro up front (he was on the bench), it was down to Jorge Molina again with help from Verdú, Cedrick and Juan Carlos. Molina and Cedrick were guilty of missing the majority of the best chances in the first half.

The second half was disastrous. Apart from the goal at the end by no other than Castro, I cannot remember any serious attacks or attempts at goal from Betis – it was diametrically opposite to the first half. Real Betis: The Jekyll and Hyde of La Liga.

Celta were set up much better in the second half and punished Betis, they were even guilty of missing chances themselves. Eventually, it was Charles in minute 67 and then Nolito in the 74th who finished Pepe Mel’s men off. The defence of Betis crumbled and fell apart like a rich tea that had been dipped in a cup of tea for far too long.

Why the drastic change in performance? A couple of reasons: i) Could have been through tiredness after the Thursday night trip to Czech Republic; ii) After the first half the players could tell it was going to be ‘one of those nights’; iii) Celta upped their game and Betis couldn’t alter their tactics effectively enough.

So where does that leave Betis? On zero points after 2 games. After two first halves of great attitude and ability, the club have no points. The sooner Rubén returns to full form the better, but we should not be relying on just one player to score all our goals and take the chances, there needs to be more.

This was honestly one of the most frustrating games I have watched Betis play; and there has been a few. Pepe Mel summed it up by saying, “It was a bad night for us.”

It is only the second game so let’s hope the players get back on the training ground and work on their finishing and their tactics with Pepe Mel and co. Manquepierda.

Team news: Real Betis vs Celta de Vigo

changing rooms

Betis changing rooms looking superb (from Real Betis official feed)

Just over half an hour to go until the big kick off for season 2013/14 at El Estadio Benito Villamarín. Celta de Vigo are the visitors. They are reinvigorated since last season and have made a hatful of good signings, none less than the manager Luis Enrique, former Real Madrid and Barcelona superstar.

Those of you with eyes similar to an Eagle’s will notice a number 24 in the picture to the left – yes, Rubén Castro is in the squad. Highly surprising considering his mysterious hamstring injury but fantastic news to Betis.

The line-ups are in and are as follows:

Real Betis XI: Sara; Chica, Paulao, Perquis, Nacho; Matilla, Nosa; Juan Carlos, Verdú, Cedrick; Jorge Molina

Bench: Rubén Castro, Chuli, Amaya, Torres, Juanfran, Lolo Reyes, Anderson (GK)

Celta XI: Yoel; Hugo Mallo, Cabral, Fontàs, Toni; Oubiña, Álex López; Augusto Fernández, Krohn-Dehli, Nolito; Charles

Bench: Rodríguez, Rafinha, Costas, Alvarez, Bellvis, Madinda, Aurtenetxe.

Tonight’s game should provide great viewing with two footballing teams going at it. It will be a test no doubt. Those in Spain will be watching the game into Monday morning, until about 1am! Great scheduling from the RFEF…but that’s for another post!

I’ll be watching the game and tweeting live @hardmanbs

Viva el Betis!!!

Bolton Wanderers 0 – 2 Real Betis – Verdú conducts Betis to a comfortable win

Verdú was undoubtedly the star of the show for Betis as they ran out 2-0 winners at the Reebok in front of just over 4,000 people.

Fittingly, the game started with a minute silence for all the victims of the terrible train crash in Santiago de Compostela, which was fantastically observed by all the fans inside the stadium.

Sergio vs Bolton

The impressive Sergío in action

Betis took to the pitch wearing their third choice sky blue kit (as pictured). I must admit that I am not a big fan of this kit, probably because I am a born and bred MUFC fan as well and so have a disliking for any football kit that is such a colour. Pepe Mel started with – Andersen in goal; Chica, Paulao, Perquis, Nacho across the back; Carlos García, Nosa as holding midfielders; Juanfran, Verdú, Sergio Rodríguez as attacking midfielders; and Jorge Molina up top. This team also carried on well into the second half with the first substitute coming in the 75th minute.

This extended period gave the players a chance to impress and two who certainly did were Joan Verdú and Sergio (who is pictured). Both players gelled immediately, they were reading each others game, knowing what the other one was going to do next, sharing 1-2s – there really was some great chemistry and in my view it was a revelation. It was the first time that I had seen Sergio play and I was mightily impressed. His first touch was great, his feet were quick and he was strong on the ball. His talent hasn’t gone previously unnoticed and Barcelona have been very interested in the 20 year old and have actually agreed a first option deal on the player who recently signed a contract to keep him at Betis until 2017.

The first goal came on the half an hour mark. Juanfran, who was much quieter today and took a few rough tackles off a few Bolton players, ricocheted the ball into the box and Jorge Molina was there to wrap his foot around it and guide it into the corner. Not much else of note happened apart from neat passing play and Betis being dominant and superior in every area of play.

The second half entailed of much of the same. Bolton did have a little spell and showed a bit more urgency and intent but the Betis defence stood up well. It looked much more secure than it did against Huddersfield. Perquis and Paulao looked very solid together and Anderson in goal did not put a glove wrong, making a few good saves. I was impressed with Perquis who did his job comfortably and confidently, getting stuck in when necessary, even if he did probably make more passes back to the keeper than forward when he had possession!

2013-07-26 21.44.32 copy

Verdú being substituted

Verdú absolutely ran the show. I commented on twitter at the time that he was like a magnet to the ball and his foot had glue on it. It really was a masterclass. He rounded his display off by showing another attribute to his game, set piece ability. In the 70th minute he showed pinpoint accuracy and technique by curling a freekick passed Adam Bogdan from around 25 yards out. His second goal in successive games. Even the Bolton fans were applauding.

With the job done Pepe Mel made a few changes, bringing Cedrick, Matilla and Steinhofer on for the last 15 minutes and then later on we saw a glimpse of Figueras, Salva Sevilla and Nono. I didn’t expect Cedrick to get any minutes tonight considering he only just got in the country on the day after his documentation problem.

The undoubted highlights of the night for me were: i) the way Verdú controlled the game from start to when he was substituted, ii) the attacking midfield pairing of Verdú and Sergio – real chemistry. I also want to give a shout out to Carlos García (pictured). He is a holding/defensive midfield and he played his role like a really pro. He looked natural, confident and classy. He really did remind of Sergio Busquets.

Next up for los verdiblancos is the Molineux tomorrow evening (4pm kick off) where they take on Wolves. Expect to see starting those that didn’t today or who came on late, plus those who didn’t get on such as Caro and Chuli, the man who bagged a hat-trick on Wednesday night.

2013-07-26 19.28.37

Betis bus parked outside the Reebok

Next up for los verdiblancos is the Molineux tomorrow evening (4pm kick off) where they take on Wolves. Expect to see starting those that didn’t today or who came on late, plus those who didn’t get on such as Caro and Chuli, the man who bagged a hat-trick on Wednesday night.

 

Huddersfield Town 2 – 4 Real Betis: Debut hat-trick for Chuli

Betis kicked off their English pre-season campaign with a bangon Wednesday night thanks to a mightily impressive display from new centre-forward Chuli, who grabbed himself a hat-trick.

2013-07-24 21.41.35

Betis bus outside the John Smith Stadium in Huddersfield

It was a fine evening in Huddersfield which was accompanied with a ‘room for improvement’ performance, particularly in the defensive department. Unfortunately (particularly for me), Rubén Castro, who was supposed to start, pulled out of the squad altogether which I can only assume is down to the injury that ruled him out of the last couple of games. Correct decision; there is no need to be rushed back.

photo 15

Betis enjoy their first game on English soil

The first half 11 lined up as so: Anderson in goal; Steinhofer (debutee), Perquis, Paulao, Nacho in defence; Carlos García, Nosa, Verdu and Nono in midfield; Chuli (debutee) and Molina up front. It was by no means a conventional 4-4-2 with Nono playing from wide left and Verdu through the middle.

It didn’t start to brightly with Huddersfield having the better of the play and James Vaughan put them ahead after 11 minutes with a back post header. It could have got a touch unsavoury in the 17th minute when Nono and Clayton squared up after a tough 50/50. Nono did thrust his head at Clayton and probab

ly would have seen red if it had been a competitive match, but his handbags got him a yellow card instead. The play settled and Betis got their passing game going. Patience finally paid off when Verdú nodded home Steinhofer’s cross for his first goal in verdiblanco colores. Two minutes later Betis were in the lead when Chuli finished off a Paulao flick on at the back post with a good finish into the roof of the net.

Pepe Mel made 9 changes at half time: Guille Sara came on in goal for his debut; Chica, Jordi Figueras (debutee), Caro and Alex Martínez in defence; Matilla, Nono (DMF) and Salva Sevilla (AMF) in midfield; then Chuli stayed central, Juanfran on the right, Sergio Rodríguez on the left.

Within the first 6 minutes of the second half Betis were 4-1 up thanks to the unstoppable combination of Juanfran and Chuli. You could see Pepe Mel getting frustrated at the lack of fast ball from the goalkeeper and defence as he gesticulated and shouted towards new goalkeeper Sara. From a set piece Sara gathered and distributed accurately and rapidly to Juanfran on the

right wing who whipped in a cross which was finished by Chuli. Chuli’s hat-trick goal was much of the same. Lots of promise with that combination indeed. Huddersfield grabbed a goal back in the 52nd minute with Paterson looping one over Sara’s head but a comeback was never on the cards.

Nothing much more happened after that and the game petered out with Betis keeping possession in the centre of the park. It was a good run out for Betis who did look sharp at times and a bit rusty in others. Verdu looked tidy and direct in the first half. Nono looked tidy with the ball but he never looked too threatening in making a breakthrough. Jorge Molina looked a little tired and couldn’t get his rhythm during his first half.

No doubt the stars of the show were Juanfran and the taker home of the match ball, Chuli.

I also must mention the Béticos who made the journey over from Seville. The match day announcer told that 40 made the trip, which allowed me to try out some very rusty Spanish. Plus I could see around 10-20 non-Spanish Béticos. Huddersfield staff were very pleasant and helpful and the fans were also very friendly.

Mucho Betis, mucho Betis eh eh!

photo 5

Pepe Mel stalking the touchline in the second half

Betis on British Soil

Real Betis landed today in Manchester and to their new home for the time being in Mottram. A total of 26 players made the journey to help prepare Betis for the up and coming season. All 10 new signings also made the trip and mostly were paired up with each other for room share – the list below shows all the pairs (new signings in bold). Alvaro Vadillo would also be included but he is away on international duty with the Spanish u19 squad who are playing in their equivalent of the Euros.

jordi_camiseta

New verdiblanco: defender Jordi Figueras

Andersen-Steinhöfer
Guillermo Sara-Jordi Figueras 
Amaya-Nacho
Perquis-Nosa
Paulao-Salva Sevilla
Lolo Reyes-Cedrick
Matilla-Juan Carlos
Juanfran-Chuli
Jorge Molina-Rubén Castro
Caro-Javi Montoya
Carlos García-Nono
Álex Martínez-Sergio Rodríguez
Chica-Verdú

mottram st andrew

Mottram Hall (courtesy of beticismo.net)

Great to see so many canteranos in the squad – Caro, Javi Montoya, Sergio Rodríguez, Alex Martínez and Carlos García. Very excited to see these get some playing time.

The hotel that Betis are staying in is an extremely grand hotel set out in the small village of Mottram St Andrew, which has around 600 habitants.

Have a look here on beticismo.net for further photos of the very posh hotel.

I haven’t really had time to name and comment upon all the new signings thus far as there has been so many, however, during the friendlies in England I will try to highlight their performances and see how they are settling in.

I also hope to get a few pictures as I will be travelling to Huddersfield tomorrow night (Weds 24th) and Bolton (Fri 26th) to watch los verdiblancos! Note that Betis will be in England until the 12th August – just 6 days before the kick off the campaign for real against Real Madrid.

The players have already had their first training session in very pleasant weather (if not a tad stuffy) and Béticos will be glad to know that Rubén Castro and Javi Matilla featured after picking up slight knocks last week, however Lolo Reyes is still injured. Have a look at the video below from Betis TV showing the players during this first session.

Betis on British Soil.

Real Betis landed today in Manchester and to their new home for the time being in Mottram. A total of 26 players made the journey to help prepare Betis for the up and coming season. All 10 new signings also made the trip and mostly were paired up with each other for room share – the list below shows all the pairs (new signings in bold). Alvaro Vadillo would also be included but he is away on international duty with the Spanish u19 squad who are playing in their equivalent of the Euros.

jordi_camiseta

New verdiblanco: defender Jordi Figueras

Andersen-Steinhöfer
Guillermo Sara-Jordi Figueras 
Amaya-Nacho
Perquis-Nosa
Paulao-Salva Sevilla
Lolo Reyes-Cedrick
Matilla-Juan Carlos
Juanfran-Chuli
Jorge Molina-Rubén Castro
Caro-Javi Montoya
Carlos García-Nono
Álex Martínez-Sergio Rodríguez
Chica-Verdú

mottram st andrew

Mottram Hall (courtesy of beticismo.net)

Great to see so many canteranos in the squad – Caro, Javi Montoya, Sergio Rodríguez, Alex Martínez and Carlos García. Very excited to see these get some playing time.

The hotel that Betis are staying in is an extremely grand hotel set out in the small village of Mottram St Andrew, which has around 600 habitants.

Have a look here on beticismo.net for further photos of the very posh hotel.

I haven’t really had time to name and comment upon all the new signings thus far as there has been so many, however, during the friendlies in England I will try to highlight their performances and see how they are settling in.

I also hope to get a few pictures as I will be travelling to Huddersfield tomorrow night (Weds 24th) and Bolton (Fri 26th) to watch los verdiblancos! Note that Betis will be in England until the 12th August – just 6 days before the kick off the campaign for real against Real Madrid.

The players have already had their first training session in very pleasant weather (if not a tad stuffy) and Béticos will be glad to know that Rubén Castro and Javi Matilla featured after picking up slight knocks last week, however Lolo Reyes is still injured. Have a look at the video below from Betis TV showing the players during this first session.