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Real Betis-Villarreal PREVIEW

We could sure use three points here.

Real Betis Balompie v Villarreal CF - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Villarreal are in a bit of a funk, not entirely of their own devising. Strange refereeing decisions in the Eibar match and our inability to ignore them, as well as an early red card against Las Palmas, have resulted in a two-game losing streak—the first time that’s happened in the league this season. It’s unfortunate too as Sevilla have faltered so the opportunity to grab fourth place would still have been there—now it’s almost gone. With anything but a win against Betis, it probably will be.

Real Betis, Sevilla’s “other club” but also very well supported, are winning enough points against the bottom teams to stay up, but that’s about it. Apart from defeating Athletic Club at home earlier this year, their record against the top half of the table has been poor. They did draw with Barca at home, though.

Betis are led by 35 year-old Ruben Castro (10 goals), who often seems to score against us. Last time out they faltered late, Espanyol coming back to defeat them 2-1 in Barcelona.

Villarreal have the same injuries as they did going into the Eibar match—Cheryshev, Asenjo and Rukavina—but Bonera drops off in favor of Victor Ruiz.

All-time record: We actually have not faced Betis as much as you’d think; our record in the Primera is 8-8-9, including 3 wins, 4 draws and 5 losses in Seville. The last time we won here was in April 2008 with a goal from Marcos Senna!!

Prediction: For no obvious reason other than we are the better team, Betis 1-2 Villarreal.