By 90Min
February 17, 2018

Real Madrid travel to Real Betis on Sunday afternoon, hoping they can lift themselves into third place and close the gap on FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid.

Los Blancos go into the game off the back of a 5-2 victory over Real Sociedad last week, and will be looking to add to their momentum in order to put late pressure on FC Barcelona and Atlético Madrid at the top of the table.

Meanwhile, Real Betis have won their last two games and could move as high as sixth if they can pick up a surprise home victory this weekend.

Classic Encounter

Aitor Alcalde/GettyImages

Back in October 2016, Real Madrid recorded an emphatic 1-6 away victory at Betis, which pulled them level with Atlético Madrid at the top of the league table.

Raphael Varane got Real Madrid off to a fine start, opening the scoring with a powerful header after just five minutes. Karim Benzema made it two with a low, driven finish on the half-hour mark. Further goals Marcelo and Isco saw Real Madrid race into a 0-4 lead at half-time.

Cejudo pulled one back for Betis after the break, before Isco curled his second of the night into the top-right corner on 62 minutes and Cristiano Ronaldo joined the party with a close-range finish to secure a 1-6 win.

Key Battles

Lorenzo Morón and Ryad Boudebouz vs Sergio Ramos and Raphaël Varane

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/GettyImages
Real Betis striker Lorenzo Morón has only recently been promoted from the Real Betis B team, having scored 43 goals in 93 games for the second string side.

His senior career has started superbly, with 3 goals in 2 games for the La Liga outfit so far. These include a brace against Valencia and the winner at Deportivo La Coruña earlier this week.

The 24-year-old stands at 6ft 2in and, on current form, should be going into this clash with no fear. He is partnered up front by Algerian attacker Ryad Boudebouz.

Boudebouz's tendency to drop deep could cause problems for Madrid's back four. It is key for Los Blancos that they don't concede goals, as goal difference could be key for them at the end of the season if they are to apply pressure on the top two.

However, experienced defender Sergio Ramos has only let a striker dribble past him on an average of 0.4 occasions per game, while this figure stands at just 0.2 for Raphaël Varane. These two defenders are well respected as one of the best partnerships in the game.

This battle between experienced defenders and fearless, in-form strikers will make for an entertaining battle on Sunday.

Team News

Real Madrid look all set to play their strongest side for this game, with Jesus Vallejo their only absentee due to a hamstring injury.

Betis defender Zouhair Feddal is out with an achilles injury, while Joel Campbell and Antonio Sanabria are also not fit to feature. Both teams are coming into this game following La Liga victories and are expected to keep their lineups unchanged from those respective wins.

Potential Real Betis Starting Lineup: Adán; Martín, Mandi, Bartra, Amat, Adames; Joaquín, Guardado, Ruiz; Boudebouz, Morón.

Potential Real Madrid Starting Lineup: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Vázquez, Modric, Kroos, Asensio; Benzema, Ronaldo.


The sides have met in La Liga on 39 occasions, with 20 Madrid wins, 11 draws and 8 Betis wins on the head-to-head record.

However, Betis won the reverse fixture earlier this season. They were 1-0 victors back in September, thanks to a last-minute winner from Antonio Sanabria.

This match may be closer than some people think, however it will be difficult to look past the visitors for this one. Ronaldo, in particular, will be thriving after hitting his 100th Champions League goal recently.

Prediction: Real Betis 0-2 Real Madrid

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