With all the premier domestic top-flight competitions going in full swing all around the world, it’s that time of the year where we get to witness the rivalry between the top-tier and lower division clubs. Different competitions such as Copa del Rey, FA Cup, DFP Pokal Cup, Coppa Italia, etc are those leagues whose knockouts start from this part of the year and continue forward involving the big teams from now on who automatically qualify for it.
In one such game, RealBetis are welcoming Sevilla at the Estadio-Benito-Villamarin to play their decisive round-of-16 clash in CopaDelRey tomorrow. Both teams have eased past their round of 32 opponents last week in this cup competition. Sevilla hammered Zaragoza 2-0 while their same city rivals Betis thumped Valladolid for three-nil.
Let’s see if Seville gets painted red-and-white or it turns green-and-white after the game on Sunday?
WHY TO WATCH OUT FOR
The Seville Derby started way back in 1915 with their first inter-city game held on February 8, 1915. The close-cut entertaining game resulted in a 4-3 win for Sevilla. After that, there have been over a hundred meetings between these two arch-rivals. Sometimes the city has been marred by violence on account of the fight between the same-city rival fans while on other occasions, it has witnessed some fascinating and charming football from both the teams. So, there is certainly no reason that you shouldn’t watch one of the most-heated derbies of recent times.
This rivalry has gifted us all, from nerve-cracking last-minute winning goals to some of the best last-minute goal-line saves. We can never ever predict the outcome of this game prematurely. The team which manages to hold their nerves till the last moment in a full-packed stadium is the one that wins it eventually. In various instances, we have seen the most favorite team to win the encounter perishing at the last moment. It’s better to go out and watch such action-packed cup matches than to have a self-made prediction going wrong in last.
We bet that you are gonna witness really adrenaline-secreting moments in the match. With full-of-upsets happening all around in these cup games, we expect to have yet another nail-biting finish this time too. The match is scheduled to get kicked off at 2:00 AM IST or 21:30 CET.
The Los Palanganas are traveling to the other part of Seville on the back of a cagey 1-0 win over giant-killers Getafe last weekend. Lopetegui’s men found it really hard to get past the lowly placed Getafe in match day 19 of the LaLiga. Rafa Mir’s only goal as early as in the 22nd minute proved to be the decisive one in the match. The home side only managed to register a single shot on target during the course of the match. Though they kept much of the possession(67%) they failed to create enough chances for the attackers to score. Getafe put up a solid show defensively on board for the 2nd consecutive match after beating Madrid previously.
Sevilla really needs to fix their scoring issues if they are to compete for the elusive titles. On the opposite side, their defense is outstanding and has conceded the lowest goals in the league(13). in the last five games across all competitions, they have won four and drawn one. They are in fact in a seven-match unbeaten run stretching from the 9th of December. It remains to be seen whether they can topple their arch-rivals Betis tomorrow and advance further in the Copa del Rey.
FORM GUIDE – WDWWW (ALL COMPETITIONS); WWDWW (LA LIGA)
INJURED – Suso (ankle), Erik Lamela (shoulder), Thomas Delaney (muscular)
DOUBTFUL – Jules Kounde
UNAVAILABLE due to AFCON – Munir El-Haddadi, Youssef En-Nessyri, Yassine Bounou
Formation : 4-3-3
Defense: Montiel, Kounde ,Carlos ,Acuna
Midfield: Rakitic, Ferrando, Jordan
Attack: Gomez , Rafa Mir , Ocampos
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The Argentinian playmaker has been in superb form for the Los Verdiblancos this year contributing in every aspect. Be it creating the play or scoring goals or back-tracking to help the defense, he has done everything aptly. His runs down the left flank are a sure treat for the opposition. His pinpoint passing and crossing accuracy also help the strikers to find a lot of chances going their way. He has already registered 7 goals and 4 assists to his name in 24 appearances. In a derby game like against Betis, Lopetegui needs his star-man to break Betis’ defense tonight with his skillful display.
The ageless former Barcelona veteran is enjoying an excellent run at the club from where he started in LaLiga. He has proved out to be a vital cog in Sevilla’s midfield where he controls the game fully. From building up the play from the back to defending in between the channels, the Croatian has starred everywhere. No wonder he is one of the main reasons why Sevilla gets to retain possession of the ball so much. His 4 goals and 4 assists are quite decent being a midfielder. Everyone knows he is the player for big matches and he would be eager to prove his worth once again tomorrow.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Seville derbies are among one of the oldest derbies of Spain as well as the world. It has a long history of being one of the most enticing too. The El Gran Derbi has occurred 135 times to date. Sevilla clearly leads in the face-to-face statistics with a record of 64 wins out of the total. Betis have also won it a handsome 39 no. of times. Thirty-two games failed to yield any result.
In the most recent meeting between the two sides, a Marcos Acuna strike and a Bellerin own-goal led Sevilla to win. Guido Rodriguez was out in the first half itself after seeing a red card. Betis would seek revenge this time facing Sevilla at the very same ground again.
The Los Verdiblancos are coming onto this match after playing out a frustrating draw against 7th placed Rayo Vallecano last-gameweek. They played most of the game with 10men after Alex Moreno was shown a straight red in the 33rd minute. Still, they showed up an impressive fight against Vallecano and managed to keep the game to a draw. Sergio Canales scored in the dying minutes of the first half only to be canceled out by Balliu in the 70thmin. Vallecano, eventually, was the superior side in everything, from possession to shots-taken as well as dominated the match fully. Betis’ frontline couldn’t pose any real threat to Vallecano’s defense.
In fact, also, it was because of a defensive error that they conceded the equalizer. They are the side to have conceded the most goals in the league after Valencia and Mallorca in the top 15. Seriously, Pellegrini needs to fix his defensive issues if they are to defeat the big teams. In the last five games in La Liga, they have only won two and lost the same no. of games. Surely it would be an even-stevens spread out in the clash against Sevilla.
INJURED – Marc Batra, Martin Montoya, Willian Jose, Joaquin
DOUBTFUL – NONE
UNAVAILABILITY – NONE
Formation : 4-2-3-1
GK: Rui Silva
Defense: Bellerin ,Gonzalez , Luis , Moreno
CDM: Rodriguez , Guardado
Attack : Canales Fekir Tello
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
The Spanish have been in swashbuckling form this year for the Green-and-Whites. His goalscoring proficiency has been of the highest level this season scoring in important times for the Verdiblancos. Having 13 goals and 1 assist in only 14 starts is quite appreciable. He has proved to be the most dependable man in the team for providing the goals upfront. He is a fox-in-the-box and doesn’t let any chance go the other way from him. Against the Palanganas, Pellegrini would hope that his star man turns out to be lethal for the strong Sevilla defense.
The Frenchman is one of the most standout performers in the whole Real Betis squad. His creativity is an invaluable asset for Pellegrini’s side. He creates the play from the midfield and plays those defense splitting passes to disorganize defenses. One of the main reasons for Betis’ superiority in goalscoring is because of this man. He also drops low down to help the midfield when in need. His 6 goals and 4 assists for Betis are still the highest G+A for a midfielder in top-flight leagues this season. If Betis are to do good against Sevilla, this man has to come up with a good show.
In all respects, this Seville derby is going out to be an enticing and enthralling one for the viewers. It is sure to present us with all sorts of excitement that a high-profile derby should have. Both sides will be fighting it out for a place in the quarterfinals of the Copa Del Rey. Undoubtedly, this would be more of a battle of local pride about who earns the credit in the city. Expect a fierce and bewitching encounter to unfold at the Estadio Benito Villamarin between these two bitter city rivals. Do tune in for this game to learn about one of the quarter-finalists of the CDR!!
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