Squad news


16 Sep 2017
Pepe Mel makes changes, including putting the fifth goalkeeper within the last six league matches. Betis want to have a good season after an important investment made during the summer.

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
Kick-off: 18h30 CET (Benito Villamarín)

This is one of the most profitable visits for Deportivo within the last two decades. The Galicians have won eight of the last fifteen liga visits to Real Betis, a solid number that not even Real Madrid or FC Barcelona can match.

In that same period, the Andalusians were only able to beat Depor twice at their stadium: 1-0 (1997/98) and 2-0 (2004-/05). Within the last seven liga meetings played there Deportivo won five times and drew in the other two only allowing three goals and clinching four clean sheets.

But this isn’t a good start of season for Deportivo, side that, despite the suffering in recent seasons, always had solid numbers starting the Primera campaigns. The Galicians have only added one point after the first three matchdays, this is the worst start since the season 1991/92, at the time the team also only added one point after the first three games.

Betis are also having a slow start, though it isn’t necessary to go way behind to find a worse start at the elite. Los Verdiblancos have only added three points so far, it’s their worst start since the campaign 2013/14 (one point).

Only three matchdays have been played and Deportivo are already the worst defence at Primera, the Galicians conceded nine goals within the period and miss a clean sheet since the closing matchday of last season (3-0 Vs, Las Palmas, May 20).

Coach Pepe Mel will introduce changes, not only thinking of improving the defensive performance, but also because there’s action in midweek and he will make rotations. The first novelty is the debut of Costel Pantilimon. The Romanian goalie arrived on deadline day and will have his first chance in the most unstable position at the team. Arribas will also be a starter after Sidnei was dropped from the squad.

There are also changes in attack as Mel returns to the 4-2-3-1 formation, Emre Çolak was not even picked for the past game with Real Sociedad and now goes directly into the starting formation. He will replace Adrián, who is benched despite been the best man against Real Sociedad. Celso Borges is also a novelty at midfield as Pedro Mosquera is a last-minute casualty.

Team news: Mosquera didn’t pass a late test on Friday and joined Carles Gil and Rubén Martínez at the injury room. Raúl Albentosa and Borja Valle are picked for the game as Sidnei and Bruno Gama were dropped after been starters against Real Sociedad. Saúl García and Gerard Valentín are also out for tactical reasons. Fabril’s goalie Francis Uzoho was picked in a roster composed by 19 players.

Man to watch: Goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon. The Romanian will be a starter after only two weeks of trainings with the team. It’s the third keeper that will play on this season and curiously it’s the fifth within the last six league matches (Lux and Davy Roef played at the end of last campaign).

Picked players: (19) Tytoń, Pantilimon & Francis (goalkeepers); Juanfran, Arribas, Albentosa, Schär, Luisinho, Navarro (defenders); Guilherme, Borges, Fede Valverde, Çolak, Cartabia (midfielders); Bakkali, Borja Valle, Adrián, Lucas Pérez & Andone (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Pantilimon – Juanfran, Schär, Arribas, Navarro –Guilherme, Borges – Bakkali, Çolak, Cartabia – Andone.

Last season was a huge disappointment for Real Betis, the team didn’t match the expectations and now everything was erased in a stroke of pen. Lorenzo Serra Ferrer returned in May to Betis, now as a sporting vice-president and the Andalusian club didn’t hesitate in investing €30 million in signings.

Quique Setién landed as the head coach and the club signed Camarasa (€7 million), Boudebouz (€6.5 million), Tello (€4 million), Sergio León (€3.5 million), Feddal (€2.5 million), Guardado (€2 million) and Javi García (€1.5 million).

The good part is that Betis also sold some players and cashed €22 million, €14.5 million only with Dani Ceballos, who was transferred to Real Madrid. So, once again there are high expectations in a team that will face again the pressure from the demanding fans, and once again the coach is under pressure as he needs to hurry up the adaptation process.

Team news: At it was expected midfielder Ryad Boudebouz and striker Tony Sanabria surpassed their physical problems and were included in the roster for the game. Defender Alin Tosca (hand fracture) and striker Joel Campbell (knee) are out for injury reasons.

Man to watch: Striker Sergio León. One of the few positive news at CA Osasuna on last season after scoring 10 times in 27 league games. Signed on this season by Betis for a relative cheap price (€3.5 million), this Andalusian attacker is the top-scorer of the team after netting goals in straight weeks facing RC Celta and Villarreal CF.

Picked players: (18) Adán, Dani Giménez (goalkeepers); Rafa Navarro, Feddal, Jordi Amat, Durmisi, Barragán, Mandi (defenders); Camarasa, Joaquín, Guardado, Javi García, Boudebouz, Francis Guerrero, Juanjo Narváez (midfielders); Sergio León, Sanabria & Tello (attackers).

Predicted lineup: (4-3-3) Adán – Barragán, Feddal, Mandi, Durmisi – Camarasa, Javi García, Guardado – Joaquín, Sergio León, Tello.




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