A Real old ding-dong will do Betis no favours
Sunday lunchtime at Estadio José Zorrilla in La Liga will witness two teams at opposing ends of the table desperately try to improve their situations for different causes. Real Valladolid sit outside the relegation zone by virtue of goal difference at the time of writing, and have five games to ensure their place in the top tier for 2021/2022 becomes a certainty. Real Betis, on the other hand, enjoy a one point lead over Europa League semi-finalists Villarreal for the last qualifying spot for participation in next year's competition. The Yellow Submarines will also be playing after the final whistle has sounded in Los Verdiblancos' fixture, so a win to break them out of their five match drawing streak would be doubly advantageous. Read our preview here:
Whilst the backline under Sergio has actually done reasonably well as a collective, the Achilles' heel has been scoring enough goals to turn the glut of draws into wins; Pucela / Pucelanos have shared the spoils in no fewer than 15, and a lack of a cutting edge is chiefly to blame. The two strikers between them have just eight goals in the league, and support from elsewhere is unreliable, a situation compounded by a conservative 4-4-2 that has them treading water precariously. Marcos de Sousa's three came in consecutive games back in November, and he has performed poorly since. The lack of competition for places in attacking areas continues to undermine the good work done elsewhere.
Manuel Pellegrini has performed about on par for the squad he has at his disposal, which is never likely to threaten the four teams at the summit, but still ought to be getting more out of some of their more vaunted talents. Sergio Canales has done admirably to contribute directly to 14 goals this term in the league, but Nabil Fekir could do much more. The French wizard has had bouts of injury problems that go some way to explaining why clubs with bigger resources didn't opt to sign him when the opportunity arose. To add to that, a daft red card just 10 minutes into the match prior with Athletic Bilbao could've proven to be far more costly, but the green half of Sevilla managed to hold onto a 0-0.
Away win? Don't Bet on it
On paper, Betis ought to win, but they themselves have continually blown chances to put clear daylight between themselves and Villarreal. Valladolid are scrapping for their lives, and whilst they don't have much to bring to the table offensively, they could frustrate the visitors' underperforming attacking players. 888sport have odds of 3.40 for yet another draw.