It has been a remarkable season in the city of Seville with Real Betis finally resurgent. They not only won and scored five times to claim a rare derby win in the reverse fixture but they have the opportunity to ensure they finish the season above Sevilla here, something which they’ve seldom managed in recent times.
Sevilla have largely flown the flag for the city during an incredibly successful era but it does feel like a real momentum shift is now taking place. They’ve had a poor season by their standards and find themselves scrapping just to make Europe and already on their third coach of a turbulent campaign.
Betis meanwhile have for once been the source of stability with Quique Setien coming in and doing a fantastic job. They’ve not only started playing much better football but also getting the right results and whatever happens here they will be in Europe next term. A point would ensure they finish above Sevilla and that would also mean they go directly into the Europa League group stage, which would be a major bonus.
Therefore this is an intriguing game on many levels. It is Spain’s most passionate local derby and a few weeks ago Betis would have been clear favourites but two wins out of two for Sevilla so far under interim boss Joaquín Caparrós suggest they are a revitalised force and they were pretty comfortable winners against Real Madrid in midweek despite conceding a couple of late goals.
The bookies now actually make Sevilla the slight favourites for the win but that’s perhaps taking it a bit far. Fatigue could be a factor given they played on Wednesday night and this is guaranteed to be a lively, high tempo affair. Betis meanwhile have had a week to get ready for it and in truth it’s a game they’ve been looking ahead to for months.
They slipped up last weekend in Bilbao but they still have to be seen as the form team heading into it. They’d won 7 of their previous 8 matches and kept 6 straight clean sheets in March and April to suggest they are very much getting their act together at the back, which had been a major area of weakness for them.
Their capture of Marc Bartra from Dortmund has really helped out in that regard while the emergence of Loren Moron has also given them a boost in the second half of the season. Overall backing Real Betis to Win looks the smart move here, especially given Sevilla have lost 61% of their away league games this season.