Villarreal are hosting Sevilla's second club, Real Betis, on Sunday. What looked like an easy win on paper now appears harder, mostly because the yellow Submarine has struggled of late. Yes, we won against Las Palmas, but probably shouldn't have; we lost to Eibar; and then we lost to Osmanlispor in midweek.
Betis aren't doing much this season, but they strike me as able to stay up mostly because there are three teams worse than they are. The beticos' roster is not that bad, which is part of the reason why coach Poyet is under fire. That and performances like their last home match, a 1-0 loss to Espanyol. Of their three wins so far, two (Valencia and Osasuna) have come on the road.
Betis: Apart from Charly Musonda, pretty much everyone is available for this one. Goalkeeper Adan is quite good, actually, and midfielder Petros, like our Pato, came from Corinthians. Betis play a 4-4-2, often with Sanabria and Ruben Castro up top and Joaquin on the right. Before you ask, no, don't expect to see Matias Nahuel starting, He's made two appearances (47 minutes total) but did come off the bench last week.
Villarreal: Apart from Bonera, Jokic, and Soldado, everyone is healthy, though word is N'diaye is NOT in the squad, Rodri taking his place. I expect we'll see our regular XI this time.
All-time record: We have always had trouble with Betis, though partly that's due to their frequent visits to the Segunda in the last 10 years. 4-4-4 at home in the Primera, 3-4-5 away. Our last win against the green and whites was back in the fall of 2011, a 1-0 victory about which I don't remember a damned thing.
Last year we drew 1-1 away courtesy of a ludicrous offside decision, and at home we played to a dour 0-0 draw and for the life of me I don't remember anything about it either.
Prediction: Another match that isn't destined to be remembered for much, I expect, given the preceding paragraph. Let's say a 1-1 draw, with Sansone on the scoresheet for us, Castro for them. I'd be happy to be proven wrong with a 3-0 Villarreal win though.