Preview: Real Betis vs. Atletico Madrid 

Preview: Real Betis vs. Atletico Madrid 

Following disappointing draws for both sides during the week, Real Betis welcome Atletico Madrid to Seville for what promises to be one of the games of the weekend in LaLiga.

The hosts were unable to break down a stubborn Cadiz side on Wednesday, while the visitors were denied a victory in the 92nd minute by their legendary ex-striker, Radamel Falcao.

Few sides in European football can boast a better home atmosphere than Real Betis, and the Estadio Benito Villamarin was bouncing as Manuel Pellegrini’s men won their fifth consecutive home game last weekend with a 3-1 win over Almeria, keeping their 100% record in front of their own fans in tact.

Away from home, though, Los Verdiblancos have won just one of their five assignments, as a rotated midweek squad fell to a frustrating stalemate with Cadiz to make it 343 minutes without a goal on the road in domestic competition for the Champions League-chasers.

To add insult to injury, creative midfielder Sergio Canales was sent off in the dying embers of that Andalusian derby for reportedly questioning refereeing decisions, meaning that he will miss the hugely important visit of Diego Simeone’s men.

Nonetheless, with one of LaLiga’s most intimidating stadiums in full voice, Real Betis will feel confident that they can cause their inconsistent visitors a few problems, as they look to leapfrog Atletico Madrid into the top four with a win.

For the visitors, it seems to be a case of one step forward, two steps back at the moment, as they followed up a huge victory at high-flying Athletic Bilbao last weekend with a tepid 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano on Tuesday.

After taking the lead through Alvaro Morata, following more great work from in-form Antoine Griezmann, Los Colchoneros allowed their adventurous opponents back into the game with a passive second-half display, unable to kill off the contest with a second goal. In the end, a 92nd-minute penalty from ex-Atleti marksman Falcao, was the least that Rayo Vallecano deserved.

Facing an uphill battle to qualify from their Champions League group, and already falling behind a relentless Real Madrid in the LaLiga title race, a defeat to direct rivals Betis could be disastrous, ahead of the crucial visit of Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday.

However, despite having faced the likes of Valencia, Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao away from home this campaign, the capital club have won four of their five trips, and are unbeaten in their last six meetings with Sunday’s opponents.

The 11-time champions will be hoping to click into goalscoring form on the road once again, as they face yet another tricky tie away from Madrid.

Real Betis La Liga form:
Real Betis form (all competitions):
Atletico Madrid La Liga form:
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions):

We say: Real Betis 2-2 Atletico Madrid
We are expecting a fantastic game here, with an electric atmosphere only heightening the drama as two of the most talent-stacked sides in LaLiga go head to head.

Real Betis have been sensational at home of late, but we are backing Atletico Madrid to get something out of this match, given its huge importance in the context of their season.

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