Match preview: Betis vs. Atlético

Atleti stand a great chance to take the league lead should they defeat Betis

Atleti crushed Betis 5-0 in Madrid in October  (Sky Sports)

Atleti crushed Betis 5-0 in Madrid in October
(Sky Sports)

Atlético will be after their fourth victory on the trot when they square off against Betis in Sevilla on Sunday.

Kick-off at the Benito Villaramín, where Atleti are unbeaten since 2006, is set for 17:00 CET.

Keeping their win-streak intact won’t be the only target for Diego Simeone’s band of brothers, as much as they’ll refuse to admit it.

Should Atlético come out of Sevilla triumphantly, all Rojiblanco eyes will be on the Clásico.

A Barcelona win over Real Madrid at the Bernabéu, coupled with an Atleti victory on Sunday, would place the red and whites in pole position for the league title.

The Verdiblancos enter this fixture on just three days rest following a severely demoralising elimination from the Europa League suffered at the hands of their fiercest rivals Sevilla by way of penalty shootout on Thursday–this, after having blown a 2-0 advantage from the first leg of the match-up.

Survival in the junior UEFA competition had provided the Béticos with a thin silver lining in what has been a terrible campaign in La Liga.

Nine points out of the safety zone with only 10 matches remaining this season, the Andalusians are practically a lock to drop into Segunda for the next term.

Gabriel Calderón, who just so happens to have a lovely last name, replaced Juan Carlos Garrido at the helm of the club back in January, but hasn’t been able to turn things around.

With a full week of rest and virtually a full squad, Atleti really have no excuse to lose this game.

“Betis have competed very well in recent games and, despite having suffered a tough blow on Thursday, they have been improving in La Liga,” said Atleti coach Simeone.

“They have balance and are very aggressive. We have to play the game the way we normally have been up until now, responding the best way possible.

“It’s a game of necessity for both of us, because of the obligation to add some points.”

‘El Cholo’ then revolutionised the football world on Saturday when he broke out some novel words.

“It’s clear to me that if, before, things were game-by-game, now, I stress that philosophy doubly,” he said.

“As Luis [Aragonés] would say, we have to win, win, win and win again.”

Tiago will serve a one-match ban this weekend and will be unavailable to Simeone.

Javi Manquillo’s name remains on the injury report and he will miss out, while José Giménez was not selected by Cholo for this trip.

Raúl García is expected to pair-up with Diego Costa up top from the start, which pretty much guarantees ‘The Real Raúl’ will score.

Meanwhile, David Villa will likely begin the game on the bench.

There was a chance los Colchoneros’ own Léo Baptistão — on loan at Betis through the end of the season — would take part in this bout against his former teammates.

Betis would have been required to pay a fee of 100,000 euros in order to allow him to do so.

But, according to AS, defeat to Sevilla in Europa League action and a minor injury sustained by the attacker in that midweek encounter, convinced the Andalusian club it wouldn’t be worth it.

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Courtois
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Alderweireld, Juanfran, Insua, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario, Koke, The Real Raúl, Arda, Cebolla, Gabi, Diego, Sosa
Forwards: Adrián, Villa, Costa

Betis match selection:
Goalkeepers: Adán, Sara
Defenders: Chica, Paulau, Amaya, N’Diaye, Lolo Reyes, Figueras, Varela
Midfielders: Matilla, Vadillo, Nono, Juanfran, Juan Carlos, Cedrick
Forwards: Braian Rodríguez, Jorge Molina, Rubén Castro


  • Ahmad Hossainy

    so Leo is neither prohibited from playing against us, nor he is allowed,
    but as Martin mentioned, Betis have to pay us a “bonus” .. something the Spanish media called a “Fear Clause”
    well, if this wasn’t Spain I would say this is weird, but in Spanish football, nothing surprises me any more !

    I wish Leo is fine, but I also wish that he doesn’t play, and if this is how I feel about Leo playing against us, imagine how I feel about Oliver

    I can’t stop thinking about what could happen if he played against us .. if he scored or assisted a goal that cost us 2 or 3 points, and if those 2 or 3 points cost us the title, how will the kid feel then ?!
    and what could happen if Villareal game was the last game in the season and wining it will give us the title .. how could any sane person ask Oli to play against Atleti in that case ?!

    as I said before, you can not talk about professionalism here,
    professionalism is to play your best against your old team if they sold you, but playing on loan for one season or half a season and you are asked to play your best against your original team with a possibility that you could cost them a title or -in other cases- send them to the lower division then after a month or a week or even in the very next day you pack your bags and go back to them .. this is just unfair

    that’s why in England, loanees are banned from playing against their originals team, not by a condition in their contacts by their teams, but by the regulations of EFA

    but as we all know, that there is a huge difference between England and Spain

    maybe Spain have Real Madrid and Barcelona, but England have everything else

  • farhan

    villa on bench again …? 🙁

  • Yon

    Well Ahmad if anything it shows your parent club that they should have given you more chances and not loaned you out! Plus it’s a 38 game season, not one!

  • Jeronamo

    Hmmmm I get where ahmad is coming from and I agree but I also agree with yon… Maybe atleti should have put the ban in the deal itself, I don’t like to see our loanees playing against us, just kooj at the rayo game earlier this season when Saul was to blame for our goal against them but Leo isn’t playing against us so we only have to really worry about villareal with this I guess

  • farhan

    stating linup please

  • piserakos

    Courtois
    Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Felipe
    Koke, Mario, Gabi, Arda
    Garcia, Costa
    Betis has 5 defenders!

  • farhan

    thanx… villa benched..again…huh… 🙁

  • kris

    Horrible decision by the linesman!! Costa was right on the line. Should have been a goal right there!!

  • Atletico9

    There was not offside on Costa’s goal!

  • Atletico9

    Im worried about this match. Hope Betis will be tired in the end of the game. They played 120 minuts against Sevilla few days ago.

    Hopefully a goal can open Betis up.

  • kris

    I hate the fact that we are letting Betis play, instead of us playing them. This is horrible. Come on guys!!! WAKE UP BY NOW!!!

  • kris

    Paulao is a little bitch. I believe that was intentional.

  • Jeronamo

    Why hasn’t he been booked yet tho?

  • Atletico9

    We need Diego today! Come on! We are fighting for the f****** 1place!

  • Atletico9

    Felipe will be banned in our next game.

  • farhan

    betis played good in first half… huh….
    cmom atleti …. wake up

  • farhan

    betis played good in first half… huh….
    cmon atleti …. wake up

  • kris

    He hasn’t been booked yet, because the referees hate Atletico. That’s the only reason I can think of why Pepe 2.0 hasn’t been booked yet. And yehh, I guess Filipe is banned for the visit from Granada.

  • ursa major

    Well no. They played ok, but created no serious chances whatsoever.
    This is how it usually plays out in our away-games. We play a horribly boring first half, and often we wake up in the 2nd. I just hope we play the ball around a little more, coz when we do, they don’t stand a chance. Especially on the left flank. Damn that line-ref! They are so vulnerable in their defense, so we will get more chances.

  • farhan

    bring villa and sosa….. simeone… plz

  • Will

    They are extremely defensive. They are defending in a 5-5-0 and attacking in a 4-5-1. The midfield is completely full.. Very hard match…

  • farhan

    flipie booked 🙁

  • farhan

    hope we donot loose any point ….

  • kris

    Just what I was afraid of!!! Lucky they didn’t score.. This is horrible.

  • farhan

    what a shot that was….. we are lucky….

  • farhan

    use… subs cholo
    .. betis …are playing really good now

  • kris

    BRAIAN RODRIGUEZ RED CARDED!! And oh my,, Koke’s crosses are so precise from that area. Almost a goal right there.

  • ursa major

    red card! great. now there’s no excuse

  • kris

    Gabi GOLAZO!!! GOOD SHOT!! THIS IS WHAT I LIKE TO SEE FROM OUR CAPTAIN!! 0-1 Aupa!!

  • FancyFartPants

    i was just writing how hard this match still would be with betis one man less, and gabi scores.

  • Will

    Captain!! He definitely learned how to kick from outside..

  • ursa major

    GABIIII!!!! GOOOOOOOOL

  • FancyFartPants

    now just no crazy things, just keep it basic and score more

  • farhan

    gabiiii

  • kris

    COSTA WHY DIDN”T YOU SHOOT?? OH MY GOD!!! WAY TOO GENEROUS RIGHT THERE MAN!!

  • Dircil

    GABI!!!!!!!! awesome shot from distance! El Cholo should encourage him score from such situation in the future

  • farhan

    1 hr cmplit… use subs simeone

  • FancyFartPants

    so we want barca win tonight or draw against real?

  • kris

    Koke to Costa is always a goal!! Koke is so wonderful in that “final” pass, even with his head. He reads the game really well..

  • kris

    Arda out for Villa. Arda was good today..

  • farhan

    costa….now…wow

  • Will

    Koke to Diego for the n-th time!! 🙂

    What are you expecting from Madrid x Barcelona? I’m hoping for a draw..

  • farhan

    simeone looking for destruction…cool

  • farhan

    nope real loosing…barca winnig

    .is good

  • kris

    Diego’s dribbles are a delight to watch.

  • Jeronamo

    I missed the first goal and the red card tho but I just read your comments

  • kris

    Let Villa take the freekick!! He can score from there!!

  • Jeronamo

    What’s with all the diving and lack of discipline by the betis players tho?

  • kris

    What a pass from Diego!! DAMN! Genius!!

  • kris

    Pussy play from Atletico not attacking and playing back passes. Dafuq??

  • farhan

    we won..
    hope real lose today..

  • farhan

    what a victory nd ..wierd game…:-D

  • Ash

    3 points has been transferred to our league table nice!

  • Will

    I think a draw between Madrid and Barcelona will almost leave Barcelona off the title race.. This might turn the last round against them into a “friendly” for us… Barcelona winning today will bring them back..

  • farhan

    valencia vs villareal…
    hope valencia wins.. it is my 2nd favourite club

  • farhan

    @will barca loosing means real winnig laliga…. i can accept barca winning laliga but…real …nooo way…

  • Will

    @FARHAN,

    I don’t want Madrid to win, I think a draw would be great..

  • Will

    Good to see Óliver in the first team again.. He got an assist last match..

  • farhan

    @WILL
    …draw means …everything messed up again…
    barca then may be out of race but real will remain on top wid 1 point ahead…
    and reality is there is no other team in laliga ..who defeat real….. so….
    best will be real loosing barca winnig…
    and in the end we still have match left with barca… it barca come again on top … somehow…(defeating real today) then that match will be tiebreaker for laliga ….
    but why think soo …in only 10 days we have to visit camp nou …UCL draw… hope we progress in ucl..

  • farhan

    and am totally sick of GALATASARY fans…they think VILLA will join GALATASARY next season… almost erveryday i see 8-10 ‘gala villa’ comments and it annoys me.

  • kris

    What a save by Asenjo!

  • Jeronamo

    Lol I thought I was the only one watching.

  • farhan

    cmon. valencia is good… and they are winnig toooooo 😀

  • Ali

    @farhan LOL youre wrong real have three very very tought fixtures ahead of them after barca they will face sevilla and after sevilla they they will face real sociedad amd still bilbao game is still to come for real. If not against sevilla but im fully convinced they will loae points against bilbao and real sociedad and they dont forget valencia as well. All are away fixtures for real. And even tough then tonight el clasico. Because barca have already lost against bilbao and real sociedad and real will lose too!

  • farhan

    hey you all know about the refs blunder in arsenal vs chelsea match…?…that was EPIC ..!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀

  • farhan

    @ali….
    it is tooo early to say…

  • farhan

    my younger brother is real fan
    … and am sick of hearing…RONALDO BALE BENZEMA RONALDO BALE BENZEMA…..

  • Ali

    Real wont win against sociedad and sevilla as far as i know and sorry they already played against bilbao in feb ending as 1-1 draw!

  • Ali

    Real were lucky to escape san mames with a point because of reff! The game real thought they will lose as bilbao dominated possession and had 9 shots on target comparing to real just two or three.

  • farhan

    @ali…what time is in your country right now…
    1:03am…

  • Ali

    12

  • Ali

    I will sleep after clasico.

  • farhan

    it happens with them almost in every game…blind liga refs

  • farhan

    i will sleep after valencia match

  • Ali

    They are not blind LOL they help real cuz real is a government team and country,s biggest shame!

  • farhan

    i will watch 1st half of el classico..
    :-D…
    but ref sometime irritates me… a lot …like gala fans…. villa gala…

  • farhan

    ref in chelsa vs arsenal match provd that some are blind 😀

  • farhan

    @ ali
    country’s biggest shame….hehehe epic:-)

  • farhan

    and it starts….

  • Will

    Barcelona really needs a defender…

  • Will

    Mascherano is completely lost, man..

  • farhan

    barca is dead…so it will madrid vs madrid…. nice 😀

  • Ali

    Messis,s magic! C,mon just two more goals to rip of real!