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Villarreal at Real Betis: La Liga Preview

A huge match in the La Liga race for Europe.

Villarreal CF v RCD Mallorca - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Our last matchup with Real Betis may well have been our best win of the year in the league so far. Arnaut Danjuma scored twice in that one but frankly it’s been so long since he’s played that I’ve almost forgotten what the side looks like with him in it.

Our Opponents

I could really just gush here for a couple of paragraphs about how much of a wizard Manuel Pellegrini is. He’s been wonderful since coming to Real Betis and has totally molded this side into his image. Betis sit THIRD, ahead of both FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, and frankly after this match I hope they go on to finish ahead of both of them. Money isn’t everything and Manuel Pellegrini is on the short list of managers in the world that’s shown he can be successful regardless of the resources at his disposal.

Juanmi has been excellent this season and Willian Jose and Borja Iglesias are legitimate goal threats as well but the real danger man is Nabil Fekir. He’s an agent of chaos out there and has loads of quality. In a moment he can turn nothing into a dangerous chance.

Villarreal

Who’s going to be available? Boulaye Dia is still chasing glory in AFCON but I think Paco Alcacer is well again. We’ll also have Samu Chukwueze back on the right and I think that will be a massive boost. The latest news on Gerard is that he is rushing to be back.

If we can get 7 on the pitch with Chukwueze, I really like our chances in this one no matter what Real Betis throws at us. Yes, we’ve been bad on the road lately in the league, but when approaching full strength I think have one of the very best attacks in the league. Danjuma should be fit as well, and if we play direct with the kind of speed we could have available then we will be devastating.

Lo Celso should also make his debut this week and I think the depth profile he adds to our midfield is someone who can sub in for either piece of a pivot with success.

Prediction

3-2 win, let’s do this.