Two mid-table sides meet in the Spanish Primera on Monday night as Real Betis welcomes Leganes to town with each looking for consistency.
Group Clubs Benito Villamarin , Seville, Spain 15 Jan 2018 8:00 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: Each side kept a clean sheet in their home victory last season in this fixture.
Expert Verdict: This is one of the tougher matches to call in this round of La Liga play. Leganes have been on a decent run of late, but their opponents just got a huge, and we literally mean that, at Sevilla. That win will boost them a lot, but Betis are so inconsistent that it is tough to call. Neither side look like genuine European contenders, so a draw is most likely.
Quique Setien is without winger Joel Campbell, forward Antonio Sanabria, and right back Antonio Barragan due to injuries. Center back Zouhair Feddal is out with a suspension.
In one of the wildest matches of the year, and season, so far, Real Betis defeated Sevilla by scoring five goals away last weekend. To win in Seville is no small feat, and to do it the way they did took a lot of guts and great football. The chief architect of the destruction was veteran Spanish winger Joaquin. He provided the first two assists for them and helped lay the groundwork for them to build on. He now has three goals and four assists to see him close up a little on Guardado in the latter category.
Betis have two wins and three losses in their last five matches:
3-5 win at Sevilla
0-2 home loss vs Athletic Bilbao
0-2 win at Malaga
0-1 home loss vs Atletico Madrid
1-0 loss at Las Palmas
Defenders:Guerrero, Mandi, Tosca, Durmisi
Midfielders:Boudebouz, Ruiz, Javi Garcia, Guardado, Joaquin
Asier Garitano is missing goalkeeper Jon Ander Serantes and center midfielder Darko Brasanac due to injuries.
Leganes may have "lost" on Wednesday night to Villarreal in the Copa del Rey, but they ended up winning the tie due to an away goal scored by Nabil El Zhar that gave Leganes the lead and put all of the pressure upon the Yellow Submarine. That pressure told in the end to get them through, and the Moroccan remains one of their biggest potential threats going forward for this match despite having scored just once in the league so far.
Leganes have two losses, two wins, and a draw in their last five matches:
2-1 loss at Villarreal (Copa del Rey)
1-0 home win vs Real Sociedad
1-0 home win vs Villarreal (Copa del Rey)
0-0 draw at Levante
1-0 loss at Deportivo La Coruna
Defenders:Zaldua, Dos Santos, Munoz, Diego Rico
Defensive Midfielders:Ruben Perez, Gumbau
Attacking Midfielders:El Zhar, Eraso, Gabriel
Real Betis and Leganes will lock horns for just the seventh time in this fixture. So far, Leganes actually lead the way with three wins, one draw, and two losses. In last season's matches, the home side took home three points. Leganes won 4-0 in May and Real Betis won 2-0 last January.
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Real Betis are at 5/4 to win, a draw is at 21/10, and a Leganes win is at 5/2.
Real Betis have been one of the most frustrating teams in the whole of Europe this term. They are up and down and hot and cold at the blink of an eye. They have 24 points currently to take them into tenth place, and look to be equally at risk for relegation and as likely to make European football: both of which are unlikely. Leganes, meanwhile, are a place above them in ninth and also have a match in hand along with the same number of points. They can cut the gap to Sevilla to just two points if results go their way this weekend.
Betis's home record has been just as astounding as the rest of their form. They are directly in mid-table in that as well with 14 points from nine matches. They have lost their last two and have just two points from their last four matches to shown a downturn recently. Leganes have also done fairly well away from home. They have played away nine times, and though they have lost a majority of the time (five), they still have a respectable ten points so far. They drew their last time out to end a four match away losing streak.
A no for both teams to score is at 17/20 via Ladbrokes.
Leganes have a real opportunity at the moment to climb up to near Sevilla, but that is a big ask for them. Even a result here wouldn't guarantee they'd stay there, and a draw is about right given how Betis perform- or don't- at home.