The Dreaded Green & White: Real Betis – Barcelona La Liga PreviewBy: Yazan | December 8th, 2012
So after the heart attack we suffered on Wed when Messi left the Camp Nou pitch with presumably his career over unless 3 human sacrifices are made to save him, if you believe what you read on twitter from “experts”, we’re back in La Liga action and Messi is included in the squad to face Betis in Sevilla.
Pepe Mel has done a fantastic job by guiding Betis to 4th in La Liga (5th now that Malaga won their game against Granada setting 4th on goal difference). The team accumulated an impressive 25 points, scoring 23 goals and conceding 23. And that’s the only good news for Barca.
Barca usually suffer from teams playing in green and white (hello Celtic). To make matter worse, Betis are undefeated in their 5 home matches against Barca in all competitions, very excellent on the counter attack, and have won 1-0 at home against Real Madrid and Valencia! Going back to the only good news for Barca, Betis have looked susceptibly weak against defending this season having conceded more than they scored.
For Barca, it’s fairly good news coming out of the camp for this game. Alves, Bartra, and Alexis are all declared fit to participate in the game. Most importantly, Messi has been included in the squad travelling to Sevilla. Whether he gets to play is something else, depending on how much crying and whining Tito will suffer if he leaves him on the bench. My advice for Tito is; leave him out of the squad.
Let’s look at it this way; we are 6 points above Atletico Madrid and now 8 points above Real Madrid, if we leave Messi out of the squad and lose the game, we’re still relatively ok. However, if we win or draw, the confidence boost the rest of the players will get from this match will be huge. Messi will still have time to break or equal Muller’s record with games against Cordoba and Atletico Madrid, and we all know how he loves scoring against any Madrid team, leave him out of the squad to give JDS some company on the sides. And interestingly, for a change, we do have enough available fit players, defenders, midfielders, and attackers; Xmas arrived early for Barca.
I think Tito will play it safe with Alves and leave him on the bench to continue with the inform Adriano on the right flank with Alba on the opposite one while Puyol and Pique should both start in central defense. In midfield, I would go for Cesc, Xavi and Busi. Iniesta will operate from the left allowing Villa and Pedro to interchange the right and central attaching positions. Iniesta might also drop into midfield when Villa switches to the left and Cesc plays as a false nine. Depending on the game’s progress, we should see Sanchez getting some minutes and maybe Alves and Montoya.
Valdes – Adriano – Puyol – Pique – Alba – Busi – Cesc – Xavi – Iniesta – Villa – Pedro.
Yes Real Betis won’t be easy, especially on the counter attacks, and that’s why I hope Puyol and Pique both start. However I do feel that, the Benfica game aside, the team are in good form and would want to extend their best start to La Liga. This one will be tight.
Betis 2 – 3 Barcelona
Some Related Barcelona Posts:
- La Liga Preview (And News): FC Barcelona v Real Zaragoza, Or, Puyol Is Back!
- La Liga Preview: FC Barcelona vs Real Sociedad, Or, Woohoo, La Liga Is Back!