To find out whether Real Betis play better on their home grounds or on the road, all you have to do is flip a coin. The results, it turns out, are pretty much the same.
With 41 points — nine above the relegation zone —and just three league games to play, Betis will be back in the First Division one year after having returned to the top flight. Betis host Barça on Saturday at 8.30pm CET in a Match Day 36 duel with the Catalans competing for the title with Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid. Betis, however, have virtually nothing to play for, thanks in large part to consistent play both at home, and on the road.
The Andalusians, led by Juan Merino — who took over for the fired Pepe Mel — have won almost the same number points at the Benito Villamarín Stadium (21 points on five wins, six draws and six defeats) as they have away from home (20 points on five wins and five draws and eight defeats).
Rubén Castro is the pacesetter for Betis, having scored 17 of the team’s 31 goals this season in La Liga. While two former Barça players — Xavi Torres and Martin Montoya — have given the team a commendable level of stability. Torres played for Barça B in the past, while Montoya came to Betis via Inter Milan in the winter transfer window.
Betis returned to First Division this season after having been relegated for the previous season.
Barça and Betis squared off just before New Year’s this season, on 30 December at Camp Nou. Barça won that game, 4–0, with a second-half double from Luis Suárez. Lionel Messi, who was making his 500th career Barça appearance, also scored.