Real Betis will be looking to book their place in the knockout rounds of the Europa League with another victory against Roma on Thursday night.
Los Verdiblancos secured a 2-1 win against I Giallorossi last week, and the two sides are now separated by six points in Group C at the halfway stage.
Real Betis are one of only four teams in the Europa League group stages who have won each of their opening three games this season, beating HJK Helsinki, Ludogorets and Roma.
Their most recent Group C fixture saw Manuel Pellegrini’s men come from behind to beat Roma 2-1 last week, with Luiz Henrique scoring an 88th-minute winner to snatch all three points in the Italian capital.
Los Verdiblancos progressed from the group stage in last season’s competition with 10 points and they already have nine points this campaign with three games remaining. A victory on Thursday would guarantee their place in the knockout rounds, and should Ludogorets fail to beat HJK, then the Spanish side would qualify as group winners.
Real Betis played out a goalless draw in La Liga away against Real Valladolid last weekend, but they will be confident of returning to winning ways on home soil against Roma, as they are unbeaten in their previous 10 Europa League group-stage matches at the Benito Villamarin, winning six times and drawing the other four.
Pellegrini’s side have also won all five of their home games across all competitions this season and they have never lost when hosting an Italian opponent, including a 1-1 draw in their most recent clash against AC Milan in the 2018-19 Europa League group stage.
Last season’s Europa Conference League champions Roma are at risk of failing to advance from Group C of the Europa League this term, after claiming only three points from a possible nine available so far.
A surprise 2-1 away defeat against Ludogorets on matchday one was followed by a comfortable 3-0 home win over HJK, but their most recent Group C loss against Real Betis means that there is still plenty of work to do to ensure they finish in the top two.
Jose Mourinho’s side have experienced an inconsistent spell of form in recent weeks, alternating between victory and defeat in each of their last five matches across all tournaments. However, they head into Thursday’s contest off the back of a 2-1 Serie A win at home to 10-man Lecce last weekend.
Chris Smalling and Paulo Dybala were both on the scoresheet to help I Giallorossi move to within a point of the top three and four points behind leaders Napoli, who they lock horns with later this month.
Roma now turn their attention to Real Betis and will be looking to end a run of three successive away defeats against Spanish opposition in European competition, after previously losing to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Real Betis Europa League form:
Real Betis form (all competitions):
Roma Europa League form:
Roma form (all competitions):
We say: Real Betis 2-2 Roma
With both sides missing key players through injury, a closely-fought contest is set to take place at the Benito Villamarin.
The pressure is on Roma to come away with maximum points as they bid to keep their chances of progressing from Group C alive, but we can see Real Betis coming away with at least a point on Thursday.