By 90Min
March 15, 2019

Barcelona travel to Real Betis looking to make it five straight La Liga wins, as they bid to tighten their grip on proceedings at the Benito Villamarin on Sunday.

The Catalans know only too well the threat that their opponents carry after being on the wrong side of a seven-goal thriller in their last league encounter in November.

JOSEP LAGO/GettyImages

That win was arguably Betis' best result in recent years, becoming the first side in two years to win at Camp Nou in La Liga - and they will be eager to complete a famous league double to keep their chances of European football alive.

Barça go into the game brimming with confidence, after putting five past Olympique Lyonnais to book their place in the Champions League last eight on Wednesday, and will be looking to at least maintain their seven-point gap at the top.

This Spanish clash is the one to watch this weekend, with a La Liga title at stake for the visitors and a return to European football for the hosts - check out 90min's preview below.

Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Sunday 17 March
What Time Is Kick Off? 19:45 (GMT)
Where Is It Played? Benito Villamarin
TV Channel/Live Stream? ITV4 

Team News

Betis will be without 23-year-old Francis Guerrero after he sustained an ankle injury during their 1-0 away win against Celta Vigo.

His absence opens the door for Barcelona graduate Cristian Tello to impress against his boyhood club, following his return from a hamstring injury which sidelined him in February.

Guerrero became their third casualty in the wing back region, with left-sided Junior Firpo and former Middlesbrough right-back Antonio Barragan already on the injury list.

Barcelona have fresh injury concerns of their own with French winger Ousmane Dembele ruled out for a month with a hamstring injury following the Lyon clash.

Maja Hitij/GettyImages

The 21-year-old came off the bench to score in midweek and his electric pace is a big loss for Ernesto Valverde, but gives Philippe Coutinho or Malcom a chance to battle it out for that spare forward slot.

The former Liverpool man was given the nod on Wednesday, repaying his manager's faith in him with a goal, and he will be desperate to get a consistent run in the first team to prove his doubters wrong.

French defender Clement Lenglet is available for selection following his recent suspension and will rival fellow countryman Samuel Umtiti for a place in the starting XI. Lenglet will be eager to impress after his national team manager Didier Deschamps opted for Umtiti instead for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers. 

 Predicted Lineups

Real Betis Pau Lopez; Mandi, Bartra, Sidnei; Tello, Carvalho, Guardado, Canales, Joaquin; Jese, Lo Celso.
Barcelona Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suarez, Coutinho.

Head to Head Record

Barcelona suffered their first home league defeat in two years when an inspired Beticos performance pulled off a remarkable 4-3 win when they last met.

JOSEP LAGO/GettyImages

That victory was only their second win over Barca in La Liga history and the Catalan giants dominate proceedings with 14 wins in 22 meetings. 

Before November, Betis' last victory against Sunday opponents came in the Copa del Rey back in 2011 but they have to look back 11 years for their last league win.

Not even a Lionel Messi brace could save his side last time out, but the mesmeric Argentinian has a good record against the Seville-based side with 20 goals and eight assists in 17 appearances.

JOSEP LAGO/GettyImages

This fixture is typically a high scoring affair and has produced 24 goals in the last five meetings, with Barcelona scoring 16 of those. 

Recent Form

Betis go into Sunday's game in eighth place and bounced back from a 2-1 loss to fellow Champions League chasers Getafe with a 1-0 away win over Celta Vigo.

That crucial win kept their European dream alive and they only sit one point off the Europa League spots and six points behind fourth-placed Getafe. 

Despite winning three in a row back in December, Quique Setien's side have struggled to maintain that form and are yet to win back-to-back games in 2019.

La Liga holders Barça look imperious once again this season and can stretch their win streak to five games with a win on Sunday.

It's a carbon copy of yesteryear, with Messi and Luis Suarez sitting first and second in the goal scoring charts and playing with a swagger and confidence that has helped their side open a seven point gap over Atletico Madrid.


Following their 5-1 drubbing of Lyon in midweek, Barca are still on to repeat their 2008-09/2014-15 treble winning seasons and Valverde will be keen to get the league wrapped up sooner rather than later.

Here are the last five fixtures for both sides:

Real Betis Barcelona
Celta Vigo 0-1 Real Betis (10/3) Barcelona 3-1 Rayo Vallecano (9/3)
Real Betis 1-2 Getafe Real Madrid 0-1 Barcelona (2/3)
Real Valladolid 0-2 Real Betis (24/2) Sevilla 2-4 Barcelona (23/2)
Real Betis 1-1 Alaves (17/2) Barcelona 1-0 Real Valladolid (16/2)
CD Leganes 3-0 Real Betis (10/2) Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Barcelona (10/2)


With 11 league games still to play, there is a lot at stake for both sides but with different implications.

Barcelona have remained top since early December but any slip up against weaker opposition and they'll have Atletico breathing down their neck.


As for Setien's team, recent wins over Celta and Valladolid have kept them in the hunt for Europe but it will be too much to ask for history to repeat itself again to give Betis their first ever league double over Barça.

Prediction: Real Betis 1-3 Barcelona 

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