Preview: Real Betis vs. Villarreal

Preview: Real Betis vs. Villarreal

Two teams with ambitions of top-four finishes in La Liga this season will lock horns on Sunday evening, with Real Betis welcoming Villarreal to Estadio Benito Villamarin.

Real Betis are currently fourth in the table, boasting nine points from their opening four matches, while Villarreal are third, having collected 10 points from their first four games of the campaign.

Real Betis had a 100% record after three matches of the new La Liga season, beating Elche 3-0, Mallorca 2-1 and Osasuna 1-0, but they suffered a 2-1 loss to the champions Real Madrid at Bernabeu last time out.

A total of nine points from four matches has left the Green and Whites in fourth spot in the table, while they started their Europa League campaign on Thursday evening with a win, netting two unanswered goals against HJK in Helsinki, with Willian Jose scoring a brace.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side finished fifth in La Liga last season, just five points behind fourth-placed Sevilla, who have really struggled in the early stages of this campaign.

Matches against the likes of Villarreal could be crucial in terms of a top-four challenge, while Real Sociedad will also expect to be up there this season in terms of the European positions.

Real Betis lost both league games against Villarreal last season without scoring a goal, while they have not overcome the Yellow Submarine in front of their own supporters since April 2019.

Villarreal, meanwhile, were also in European action on Thursday evening, recording a 4-3 victory over Lech Poznan in their Europa Conference League opener.

Unai Emery’s side were actually 1-0 behind inside two minutes before scoring three times to lead 3-1; Poznan answered back to level at 3-3 just past the hour, but Francis Coquelin came up with an 89th-minute winner for the La Liga outfit in what was a seven-goal thriller.

Villarreal have also impressed in La Liga this season, picking up 10 points from their four matches, which has left them in third spot in the table, just two points behind champions and early leaders Real Madrid.

The Yellow Submarine opened their 2022-23 campaign with back-to-back wins over Real Valladolid and Atletico Madrid, scoring five times in the process, before being held at Getafe at the end of August.

Villarreal returned to winning ways in the league last weekend, though, recording a 4-0 victory over Elche, with Gerard Moreno, Giovani Lo Celso, Coquelin and Jose Luis Morales all on the scoresheet.

Real Betis La Liga form:
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Real Betis form (all competitions):
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Villarreal La Liga form:
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Villarreal form (all competitions):
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We say: Real Betis 1-1 Villarreal
There is not an awful lot between these two sides in terms of quality, but Real Betis are likely to be missing some important players this weekend, which would certainly help Villarreal. That said, we are finding it difficult to separate the two teams and have had to settle on a low-scoring draw.

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