Real Betis will be looking to build on what was an impressive 2021-22 La Liga campaign when they open their new season with a home match against Elche on Monday night.
The Green and Whites finished fifth in Spain’s top flight last term, five points behind fourth-place Sevilla, while Elche were 13th, just four points above the relegation zone.
Real Betis won 19, drew eight and lost 11 of their 38 La Liga matches last season to collect 65 points, which saw them finish fifth in the table, just five points behind fourth-place Sevilla, and they will again be looking to push for a Champions League position during the 2022-23 campaign.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side enjoyed their best finish last term since 2004-05, but it has been a relatively quiet summer for the club in terms of transfers, with only Willian Jose, Luiz Henrique and Luiz Felipe arriving to boost the squad for the new campaign.
Real Betis have had a busy pre-season in terms of matches, playing six times in total, and they will enter this contest off the back of a 3-1 victory over Fiorentina last weekend.
The Green and Whites suffered a 1-0 defeat to Elche when the two teams met in the corresponding match last season, but they recorded a 3-0 win in the reverse fixture.
Pellegrini’s team will play in the Europa League this season, meanwhile, securing a spot in the group stage of the competition courtesy of their fifth-place finish in 2021-22.
Elche, meanwhile, were 13th in La Liga last season, picking up 42 points from their 38 matches, but they were only four points above the relegation zone.
Los Franjiverdes are preparing for their third straight campaign at this level of football, which is their best run of La Liga action since 1978, so the club are currently in a good place.
Francisco’s side have managed to make five signings during the summer window, bringing in Ezequiel Ponce, Roger Marti, Lautaro Blanco and Carlos Clerc, while Pol Lirola has arrived on loan from Marseille.
Elche have back-to-back home games against Almeria and Real Sociedad after this match before opening September with a trip to Villarreal.
The Green-striped ones found it difficult on their travels last season, only winning four of their 19 La Liga matches, and Francisco will certainly be looking to oversee an improvement in that area this term.
Real Betis pre-season form:
Elche pre-season form:
We say: Real Betis 2-0 Elche
Real Betis were brilliant in La Liga last season, and we are finding it difficult to look past Pellegrini’s side in this contest. Elche are capable of making it a tricky encounter for the home side, but we are expecting the Green and Whites to open their campaign with a win.