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Barça have a great recent record when playing at the Benito Villamarín, and will be looking for that to continue so that they can extend on the seven-point gap between themselves and nearest pursuers, Atlético Madrid, who tumbled to a 2-0 defeat in Bilbao on Saturday.
Top scorer: Sergio Canales (6 goals)
Coach: Quique Setién
Ex Barça players in the team: Wilfrid Kaptoum, Marc Bartra, Cristian Tello
La Liga record: P27 W11 D6 L10
#8 Real Betis —-> D L W L L W
#1 Barça —> D W W W W W
Last meeting (Barça 3-4 Betis)
- Barça have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven away matches in the League, and are undefeated in their last seven at the Benito Villamarín
- Real Betis have conceded at least two goals in 12 of the last 13 meetings against Barça in all competitions, and have beaten the Blaugrana just once at home in the last 14 League seasons.
- FC Barcelona (64.8%) and Real Betis (63.8%) are the two clubs with the highest average possession this league season.
- Leo Messi has scored 16 goals in 18 games against Betis, while Ivan Rakitic has scored five including three wearing the Sevilla shirt.
- If Luis Suárez scores he will equal Diego Forlán as the highest Uruguayan goalscorer in Liga history.
Did you know?
Patrick O’Connell (1887-1959) was coach of both clubs during the last century.
He took Real Betis to their first - and to date only - La Liga title in 1935, before moving on to FC Barcelona where be became known as ‘the man who saved Barça.’
O’Connell took FC Barcelona’s first-team squad on a tour of the Americas to both save the club from bankruptcy and to escape the Spanish Civil War.
During those matches, enough money was earned to keep the club afloat, hence the title bestowed upon him.
Ousmane Dembélé and Rafinha are injured but Thomas Vermaelen has been declared back to full fitness. The Belgian, however, joins Jeison Murillo and Jean-Clair Todibo in missing out on the 18-strong squad.
Having already beaten Barça earlier this season, Quique Setién believes his side can complete a League double. “We are convinced that we can put on a good performance and really compromise their playing style,” he said. “We are absolutely sure that we can pull off another surprise in this match.”
Ernesto Valverde also referred to the fact that Barça need to be careful against a side that already beat Barça once this season – and also offered his views on drawing Manchester United in the Champions League quarter finals.
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