Barcelona are looking to get their La Liga season off the ground as they welcome Real Betis to the Nou Camp on Sunday. Ernesto Valverde’s side suffered a shock defeat in their opener last weekend, while Betis also tasted defeat in their opening fixture.
Where and when: Nou Camp – 25 August, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Barcelona vs. Real Betis: ITV4
Last time: Barca spanked Betis 4-1 as the Benito Villamarin in March, with Lionel Messi helping himself to a hat-trick and Luis Suarez also on target for the visitors.
Barcelona v Real Betis Predictions and Preview
Barcelona have an excellent record against Real Betis, winning 10 of the last 12 meetings between the sides. However, the away team will come into this game with plenty of hope. Los Verdiblancos beat Barca 4-3 at the Nou Camp last season, with Messi’s 92nd-minute consolation making the scoreline appear closer than it might have been.
The champions also lost their opening match of the season last weekend away to Athletic Bilbao, courtesy of Aritz Aduriz’s stunning last-minute winner. Betis meanwhile were reduced to 10 men inside the first 10 minutes of their 2-1 defeat at home to Real Valladolid, when goalkeeper Joel Robles was sent off. Rubi’s side almost escaped with a point but for Oscar Plano’s last-gasp winner.
The visitors will need all of the fight and defensive organisation they showed for large parts of that game this weekend. However, they may also receive a real boost from Barcelona’s injury list. Messi is a doubt with a calf injury, while Suarez is out with a similar problem and Ousmane Dembele has a hamstring issue.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Barcelona to win to nil||5/4||Offer|
|Barcelona to win 2-0||15/2||Offer|
|Antoine Griezmann to score first||33/10||Offer|
Having allowed Philippe Coutinho to join Bayern Munich on an initial one-year loan deal, Valverde is relying on new signing Antoine Griezmann to provide the spark in the final third. Even without their trio of star names, the Blaugrana are the heavy favourites in the betting, priced 2/7.
Betis meanwhile are available at 12/1, which could be a tempter as a long shot after their victory in last season’s corresponding fixture, and Barca’s injury problems. William Carvalho, Sergio Canales and Francis Guerrero are all expected to be fit for the visitors, who will look to new boy Nail Fekir for their creative spark. The draw in this game is priced at 11/2.
One to watch for Barcelona: With Messi and Suarez both potentially missing out, all eyes will be on Griezmann this weekend. The French World Cup winner is 33/10 to come up with the goods by opening the scoring in this game.
One to watch for Betis: Things haven’t exactly worked out how Betis’s new playmaker Fekir planned. The Frenchman missed out on a move to Liverpool ahead of the World Cup, and must now prove himself again in Spain. He’s 14/1 to start doing that by breaking the deadlock on Sunday’s big stage.
Long shot: With Barcelona missing so many forwards and potentially struggling to gel up front, Betis may fancy their chances of nicking a result. Barca lost 1-0 last weekend and Betis are available at 40/1 to make that two defeats in a row by that scoreline for the champions.