Real Betis vs Villarreal. Manuel Pellegrini coaching against Unai Emery. Should be fun. As Zach said on the podcast, we really should get a couple of goals here anyway—if not, then we are going to start worrying about the offense.
Not that home and away has the meaning this year it usually does, but it’s worth noting Betis have lost 3 of their last 4 at home. Villarreal, meanwhile, have only one loss all season, and that was their first road game. Key here is going to be to get three points, not one!
All-time record: Villarreal and Betis first met in the 1970-71 Segunda División, but didn’t play against each other in the Primera until the 1998-99 season. Since then, we’ve met 32 times; Villarreal is 8-4-4 at home, 5-4-7 away.
Last season we turned the double, winning 5-1 at the Ceramica in late September and then winning 2-0 in an empty Benito Villamarín on July 1st. Gerard scored both our goals that day, the first from a penalty, and you might recall that was the match where Fekir picked up a yellow card just before halftime and created such a fuss that referee Gil Manzano sent him for an early shower.
That was only the second win we’ve had here since returning to the Primera (1-0 in 2016-17 the other).
Prediction: Who am I to disagree with Zach, Andrew, or for that matter WhoScored? 2-1 to Villarreal.
(Zach writing, not Allen): It seems as though Emery is thoroughly convinced of the need for Gerard on the right as Fer Nino starts centrally. Looks like Kubo will be playing above Estupinan on the left in what should be a really good attacking flank.