Preview - Atletico Madrid vs Real Betis 23 April 2018

Started by Harry85, Apr 22, 2018, 10:01 PM

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Match Day 34
Atletico Madrid vs Real Betis
Monday, April 23rd, 2018
03:45 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Wanda Metropolitano

Atletico Madrid: 
Last five matches form:  W D L W L
Average goals per match: 1.64
Average goals against per match: 0.54
Top Scorer: Antoine Griezmann (19)

Real Betis:
Last five matches form: W W W W W
Average goals per match: 1.64
Average goals against per match: 1.61
Top Scorer: Sergio León (11)

Second plays fifth this week in La Liga as Atletico Madrid welcome Real Betis to the Wander Metropolitano.

Diego Simeone could be forgiven for resting a few of his star names here. The league title is gone for another year and they are certain to qualify for the Champions League next term. The only real remaining incentive as far as their league campaign is concerned is to finish above Real Madrid who currently reside three points adrift in third. It is in Europe where their main priorities surely lie now though with a big Europa League semi final first leg against Arsenal coming in midweek. Diego Costa likely won't be risked on his comeback from injury, whilst Filipe Luís is definitely out.

Real Betis have no such distractions and are absolutely flying at present having won their last six games on the spin by an aggregate score line of 11-1. This is the best form they have been in all season by some distance and has seen them rise all the way up to fifth in the table and now look a shoe-in for Europa League qualification. Betis's injury problems come down the spine of their side with keeper Antonio Adán, centre back Souhair Feddal and midfielder Javi García all out.

A tough game to call with so much uncertainty surrounding the Atletico starting line-up. Madrid are invariably difficult to break down though, and whilst Betis are playing really well at present, they may have to settle for a draw here.

Prediction: Atletico Madrid 1 - 1 Real Betis


Half time: 0 - 0
Full time: 0 - 0
Shots: 10 - 10
Shots on target: 2 - 4
Corner Kicks: 8 - 3
Possession: 33% - 67%

Juan Martinez booked seven in total here. Jose Gimenez and Gabi seeing yellow for Atletico and Fabian, Junior Firpo, Marc Bartra, Jordi Amat and Joel Campbell doing likewise for Betis.

As expected Atletico went with a significantly weakened line-up ahead of their big European clash with Arsenal. Antoine Griezmann, Koke, and Diego Godin all starting on the bench, although Griezmann and Koke were called into action for the final half an hour.

Real Betis certainly gave this a good go, but in the end a combination of wasteful finishing and Atletico's stubborn defence meant they were unable to make the breakthrough.

Fernando Torres came closest to opening the scoring in the 25th minute. The frontman excellently beating his marker in the box before dinking the ball over Daniel Gimenez, only to see his effort headed off the line.

It was Real Betis who were looking the more likely overall though, and the visitors had an excellent opportunity to take the lead on the stroke of halftime. Javi Garcia taking the ball in his stride and bursting into the left-hand side of the box. With only the keeper to beat he failed to hit the target, firing wide at the near post. 0-0 at the interval.

It was much of the same in the second half, with the introduction of Griezmann and Koke doing little to alter the pattern of play.

Madrid did come close to winning it though. Saúl Ñíguez latching onto the ball around 20 yards from goal before striking a curling effort at goal. His strike beat the keeper but not the crossbar. That's as close as either team came and we finished goalless.

Atletico move four points ahead of Real Madrid - who have a game in hand - in the race for second.

Betis stay fifth and are nearly over the line in terms of Europa League qualification.


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