? Villarreal vs Real Betis: Team News &Tactics
Competition: La Liga 2019/20
Venue: Estadio de la Cerámica, Villarreal, Spain
Date: Friday, 27 September 2019
Time: 19:00 UTC, 21 PM BST
Both Villarreal and Real Betis would have been disappointed with how last season ultimately panned out but both clubs have high hopes of better things this term. The early signs are relatively encouraging for Villarreal and despite a sluggish start, Betis found an extra gear in their midweek game to send them into this match on a positive note.
The hosts will be the favorites and they gave a spirited showing at Camp Nou on Tuesday night. Despite conceding twice early on, Villarreal fought back with Santi Cazorla firing in from long range and there were opportunities for the Yellow Submarine to level the scores in the Second Half. Javi Calleja’s men will be happy to be back at the Ceramica here though and they’ve started to find a bit of form at last at home with Villarreal unbeaten in 8 outings in front of their own fans in La Liga heading into this.
Betis have an identical record to Villarreal this season of two wins, two draws, and two defeats. They came from behind to beat Levante 3-1 on Tuesday night with Loren Moron netting a brace to take his season tally to 5 goals. He only scored 6 times in La Liga in all of last season and his form is certainly presenting Rubi with a dilemma he wouldn’t have been expecting with new boys Nabil Fekir and Borja Iglesias expected to be the regular attacking pairing for Betis this term.
Fekir has a hamstring problem and will be monitored heading into this game but he’s unlikely to feature which should see Betis go with Moron and Iglesias again in attack. Villarreal have a bit more depth and may consider rotating the likes of Carlos Bacca and Moi Gomez into the eleven after the duo missed out on a start in midweek.
Head to Head:
Last 6 meetings: 4 Villarreal Wins, 2 Betis Wins.
The last 3 games between these two clubs have all ended in 2-1 home wins.
Betis have won the last 2 meetings at the Benito Villamarin but have lost on all of their last 3 trips to the Ceramica.
They’ve failed to win on any of their 5 visits since winning promotion back to the top flight in 2014.
Javier Calleja will be forced to make at least one change in attack following a strenuous midweek fixture against Barcelona. Javi Ontiveros may return to the bench, paving the way for Moi Gomez to start on the left-wing. The former Sporting Gijon star has already been involved in four goals this season.
While Gomez will operate as the left-winger, Samuel Chukwueze will retain his role on the opposite flank. The Nigerian’s pace on the break will be useful as Villarreal look to breach the Real Betis defense that has conceded 10 goals so far.
Gerard Moreno is Villarreal’s top scorer this season, netting five times in the league. The 27-year-old attacker will be keen to extend his scoring tally against Betis, supported by the wide-attacking duo of Gomez and Chukwueze.
Aside from Gomez, Calleja is expected to opt for the same team that lost to Barcelona, with the back four comprising of Ruben Pena, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, and Xavi Quintilla. Pena is deputizing for Mario Gaspar, who is a doubt heading into this clash. Sergio Asenjo is also a guaranteed starter in goal.
And finally, in midfield, Vicente Iborra will likely retain his place at the base of Betis’ 4-2-3-1. He will be partnered by another ex-Premier League star Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa. They will form the double pivot and will play an important role in the second line of press.
Real Betis’ star-man Borja Iglesias hasn’t really managed to find his scoring boots this season. But, the new signing from Espanyol will continue to retain his place in the starting lineup. He will form the two-man offensive combination with Loren Moron, who is the club’s top scorer with five goals.
Betis’ marquee signing Nabil Fekir is currently out injured, which means manager Rubi will have to choose between Joaquin, Cristian Tello or Diego Lainez in the attack. The 38-year-old Joaquin started against Levante in midweek and could be rested in this game, paving the way for Lainez to start on the left-wing.
Sergio Canales will move to the right flank, while Andres Guardado and William Carvalho will form the double pivot at the base of Betis’ 4-4-2.
We might see one change in defense, with Emerson coming in for Antonio Barragan at right-back. Alex Moreno will retain his place on the opposite flank while Marc Bartra and Aissa Mandi will form the central defensive pairing, at the heart of the four-man backline.
Villarreal (4-2-3-1): Asenjo; Pena, Albiol, Torres, Quintilla; Anguissa, Iborra; Chukwueze, Cazorla, Gomez; Moreno
Real Betis (4-4-2): Robles; Emerson, Mandi, Bartra, Moreno; Canales, Guardado, Carvalho, Lainez; Iglesias, Moron