The penultimate match of the weekend in La Liga sees defending champions Real Madrid travel to Seville to take on Real Betis.
The hosts found themselves in 8th place at the start of the weekend fixtures and are only 3 points adrift of local rivals Sevilla, who occupy the final Europa League qualifying position. Real Betis will be hoping to close the gap this week.
Real Madrid enjoyed a good result in Europe on Wednesday night but must focus on the league and improve their position. Sitting in 4th at the start of the weekend, Real Madrid do not want to lose further ground on the teams above them in the table.
Real Betis have come back into form in recent weeks, following two straight defeats in La Liga. The first was a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Barcelona on home soil and the second was a 3-2 defeat at Celta Vigo. However, Real Betis have since defeated Villarreal 2-1 at home and Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 on the road.
Quique Setien’s team have been performing better away from home in recent matches and trends show they won three of their last five away La Liga games but only two of the last five at home.
Interestingly, Real Betis do not draw many matches and they have picked up just three draws from their twenty-three La Liga games, with ten wins and ten defeats. They have lost by 2 or more goals in three of their last six home matches.
Real Madrid silenced some of the doubters in mid-week after they defeated Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 at home in the Champions League. This was a good result, especially having gone 1-0 down in the game and they now have a great chance of progressing in the tournament.
Zinedine Zidane will be hoping his players can continue from where they left off in that match because their last away outing in La Liga saw them held to a 2-2 draw at Levante and a similar result in this match will not be good enough.
Real Madrid have enjoyed some big recent wins at home in La Liga but have won only one of their last six on the road. Despite that record, trends show Real Madrid are undefeated in ten of their last twelve league games and are also undefeated in their last eight away from home in all competitions.
Team news and Real Betis are still without the injured trio of Joel Campbell, Antonio Sanabria and Zouhair Feddal. Striker Loren should continue in attack having made a good start following his recent debut.
Real Madrid will be without German midfielder Toni Kroos who has a knee injury and he joins Jesus Vallejo on the treatment table. Zidane may be tempted to make some changes ahead of a busy schedule and Gareth Bale, Theo Hernandez, Dani Carvajal and Marco Asensio could come into the team.
This is going to be a tough match for Real Madrid and the way they have been dropping points away from home, it would not be a huge surprise to see them do it again in this match. This could be a rare draw for Real Betis.