After a rapid start to the season, the drop-off from early-season dark horses Real Betis has been alarming. A run of five games without a win is already a big problem for the club, while the drop-off in performances across the board will be of major concern to the team. The defensive line-up of Durmisi, Mandi, Feddal and Barragan are likely to play again here – but with a shaky Antonio Adan in goals, are they likely to keep it tight?
Meanwhile, Los Rojiblancos roll into town known they need a win. While they are unbeaten in the league and have won 3 of their last 4, they know they can’t return to their drawing habit. A loss midweek in the Champions League to Chelsea will leave them smarting, and playing a Real Betis team who are on such a poor run could be the perfect antidote to their issues.
Madrid, though, need to be more clinical. They score regularly from the opposition making mistakes, and are quite ruthless that way, but rarely dominate a game and sometimes find it tough to score through their own chances. While Betis have enjoyed giftwrapping goals for the opposition recently, Madrid need to get a result here and will have to rely upon their top players to finally turn up.
That Griezmann, with 5, is their top league goal scorer is not good enough. Meanwhile, Sanabria – who may miss out – has 7 for a far less effective team. The loss of Griezmann for this one means that Madrid need to find a goal from somewhere that might not be too likely.
If anyone is to score in this one, we have our money on Saul. He’s a fine goal scoring midfielder, and has shown a determination to show up on the big games. We expect that to continue here.