La Liga Match Preview: Real Betis vs. Espanyol

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Updated: January 28, 2014
Gabriel Calderon

Match Date: 02 February 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Estadio Manuel Ruiz de Lopera

 

Real Betis

Despite having a new coach, Real Betis was still rendered unsuccessful as they were slammed by Celta Vigo on a 4-2 away defeat. The club have hoped Gabriel Calderon to be their saving glory who would pick them out of the relegation zone after they have only collected 11 points from their opening 20 fixtures in the Spanish top-tier football. With this, their winless streak was stretched to four matches, which also include an upset in the Copa del Rey.

 

The Beticos’ scoring dilemma is way beyond the managerial setting. The side have good players but their potential is not harnessed to the fullest. The pitch exploits of these players are poorly maximized. In fact, they have shown very weak abilities when it comes to finishing scoring chances, defending against through ball attacks, and avoiding individual errors. Team work is lacking and the side have yet to figure out the missing “element” that could glue them together.

 

Espanyol

Following a clean sheet from their second most recent La Liga tourney, Espanyol scored a draw with Valencia on weekend. This marks the fifth time they ended in a deadlock with their opponents this season, a result that is still insufficient to cancel out their negative goal difference.

 

Jhon Cordoba put the Periquitos in the lead in the third minute, but Paco Alcacer leveled only four minutes later. A header from Jonas put the Valencia side in the driver’s seat just after the half-hour mark, but Cordoba earned a penalty just before the break allowing Sergio Garcia to equalize.

 

To date, Espanyol have won in seven fixtures, drawn in five, and were beaten in nine. They currently rank in the table’s top half, seven points clear of the relegation zone.

 

Sports betting tip: Of the sides’ past six face-offs, Espanyol have won over Real Betis three times while the latter triumphed over their opponents only once. The remaining fixtures were draws. As with the usual result, this match will see the visitors bringing home the bacon.

 

Gabriel Calderon | Image source: uefa.com