Barca midweek banker?
Real Betis host Barcelona on Wednesday evening as the visitors look to extend their lead at the top of La Liga.
Xavi’s men have pulled away from Real Madrid since the international break, and despite some questionable financial management in the last few transfer windows, it does appear likely that they go on to regain the domestic crown.
Barca have not won the league since 2018/19, when Ernesto Valverde was in charge, with the Galacticos triumphing twice and Atletico Madrid once in the three seasons since.
I was very surprised to see Barca available at a backable price to get the win at Estadio Benito Villamarin, with Betis unsustainably overperforming to reside in sixth place heading into the encounter.
The hosts have the joint-second best defensive record in the division, conceding just 14 goals from 18 league outings, but from a total of 25 expected goals (xG) against, suggesting that their rearguard will regress to the mean at some stage, resulting in dropping away from vying for European competition.
Betis have relied on strong goalkeeping displays at times this season, and though that could make them more competitive against Barca, it is hard to justify them taking anything from the game.
Xavi’s men are the second-highest scorers in the division but have the most impressive attacking process, scoring 37 goals from chances equating to 44.3 xGF, creating chances at an average of 2.46 xGF per game.
A very healthy forward line to cause Manuel Pellegrini’s men problems.
This season would be classed as a failure if the Catalan Giants do not go on to win the league title, due to their early exit in the Champions League, putting further importance on making the most of the cushion that they have built on second place.
Unders looked like a potential angle in looking at the raw numbers, but given Betis’ unsustainable overperformance I am less enticed by a goals angle for this fixture.
Betis have scored in seven of ten.
Betis have conceded in seven of ten.
Betis have seen both teams score in five of ten.
Betis have seen over 2.5 goals in four of ten.
Barca have scored in all of their last 13.
Barca have conceded in five of ten.
Barca have seen both teams score in five of ten.
Barca have seen over 2.5 goals in four of ten.