Match Preview: FC Barcelona vs Real Betis
FC Barcelona’s campaign to wrestle the La Liga crown back from Real Madrid will begin at home against Real Betis. As Camp Nou prepare to host its first La Liga match of the 2017/18 season, Barcelona is keen to bounce back with a victory following the mishap at the Santiago Bernabéu in Supercopa de España.
Match Details :-
Date :- Sunday, 20th August 2017 // Monday, 21st August 2017 in India, China, Japan, Indonesia and Australia.
Time :- 19:15 ( GMT ) // 20:15 ( CET ) // 00:45 ( IST )
Venue :- Camp Nou
TV Details :- Sky Sports Football, beIN Sports USA, Sony Ten 2
Live Stream :- Sky Go, beIN Sports Connect USA, Mobdro App, Sony LIV App, Jio TV App
New faces have joined the backroom of both the teams as Ernesto Valverde will look to move Barcelona back to the top while Quique Setien has taken the reins at Real Betis.
FC Barcelona: Life after Neymar has been a struggle so far for Barcelona who suffered successive defeats to rivals Real Madrid in the the Spanish Super Cup. Barcelona began their pre-season on a high note, winning 3 consecutive matches before thumping Chapecoense FC for the Trofeo Joan Gamper.
But after Neymar’s departure, things have taken a drastic change and it seems that Barça have lost their old swagger. Valverde used part of the £198million the Catalans pocketed for Neymar to bring in fellow Brazilian and Tottenham flop Paulinho. But they are still in pursuit of a player who can fill the void of Neymar and join forces with Lionel Messi. Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, who had earlier submitted a transfer request to Liverpool officials, is Barça’s main target and minutes before going to press, it was reported that the Premier League outfit have rejected a third bid for the Brazilian midfielder. Barcelona will pay homage to the victims of Thursday’s attack in a special way. The back of Barcelona’s shirts will feature the city rather than players’ names for Sunday’s game in homage to the victims of Thursday’s terrorist attack.Thirteen people were killed and more than 100 injured when a driver in a white van mowed down pedestrians on La Rambla, a Barcelona boulevard popular with tourists and locals.
Real Betis :- Real Betis are also moving forward without one of their young stars. Dani Ceballos the 20-year-old midfielder was sold to Real Madrid for £16m. But new boss Setien had a busy summer of spending bringing in 15 new players including Christian Tello from Barcelona and Algerian midfielder Ryad Boudebouz. Real Betis’ pre-season wasn’t a very successful one, with the Seville based outfit playing 12 club-friendly matches and managing to win only 4 of them. On an average, they have scored less than a goal per match and failed to score 4 times.
Boudebouz and Junior were out today ? but the team continued preparing the game on Sunday! ⚽️?
— Real Betis Balompié (@RealBetis_en) August 17, 2017
Team News :-
FC Barcelona : Barcelona will be without Luis Suarez, who is facing a month on the sidelines after injuring his knee in the second leg of the Supercopa. Paco Alcacer is likely to start up front as a result. Gerard Pique is also a doubt with a strained muscle and Andres Iniesta is unlikely to start having sat out Wednesday’s match due to a thigh problem.
Real Betis : Junior Firpo and Ryad Boudebouz are unlikely to be involved for Betis as they build up their fitness, with only the latter progressing to individual exercises on the training pitch.
Likely Line-ups :-
FC Barcelona :- Ter Stegen; Semedo, Mascherano, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, D. Suarez; Messi, Alcacer, Deulofeu.
Real Betis :- Adan; Barragan, Mandi, Feddal, Durmisi; Garcia, Guardado; Joaquin, Camarasa, Tello; Leon