Barcelona / Seville, Dec 3 (EFE) .- Barça sees the Champions League match against Bayern Munich approaching next Wednesday, in which they will play their pass to the round of 16, but before they must face the dangerous match in the League against Betis this Saturday at 4.15pm at the Camp Nou, with the option of achieving three consecutive victories in the domestic competition for the first time this season.
In fact, until the two triumphs he has chained right now (against Espanyol and Villarreal) he had not managed to add more than one in a row so far in the league.
And it is that the Barcelona team just got their first victory away from home on the last day by beating 1-3 at the Estadio de La Cerámica. These poor results have caused that right now it is 13 points behind the leader, Real Madrid, although with one game less.
In any case, the improvement in Barça’s mood that occurred with the arrival of Xavi Hernández on the bench, who still does not know what defeat is, is maintained. He has won two of the three games he has directed and has drawn the other, with a balance of four goals in favor and one against.
Another week, no good news has come from the Barça infirmary. Ansu Fati’s recovery from his hamstring injury in his left leg is not going as fast as expected and he still does not train with the group. Thus, it is very difficult to be available for the game against Bayern.
On the other hand, Sergi Roberto will finally be operated on for his right leg hamstring injury in Turku (Finland) and his recovery process could leave him off the pitch for several months. In addition, Pedro González ‘Pedri’, Martin Braithwaite and Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero are still out.
The good news for Xavi is that two players who have recently returned from their respective injuries, Ousmane Dembélé and Sergiño Dest, have had a clean week to regain their rhythm together with their teammates and could already start against Betis.
Chilean Manuel Pellegrini’s Betis arrives at the Camp Nou after a victorious series of four consecutive games that has raised it to fifth position in the league with 27 points after successively defeating Elche and Levante, to the knockout phase of the Europa League after defeating Ferencvaros Hungarian and the next one in the Copa del Rey after eliminating CFI Alicante last Wednesday.
Betis will not go out to speculate or play behind the ball because it does not know how to change its footballing idea and yes, on the contrary, it will go looking for the game from the beginning, as Pellegrini has affirmed, who has the important loss for this Saturday of its perhaps most decisive player, the French Nabil Fekir.
On the site of the French midfielder, the Chilean could locate Sergio Canales, who in recent games had delayed his position with Argentine midfielder Guido Rodríguez and who at the Camp Nou could return to more advanced positions and be replaced in the center by the Portuguese William Carvalho, with the option in the chamber to place the Mexican Andrés Guarded in that position.
Yes, Betis recovers for Barcelona the right-back Héctor Bellerín, who returns to where he was trained until at the age of 16 he was signed by English Arsenal and who, along with another culé youth squad on the left-handed side, Álex Moreno, will be the spearheads for the full-backs in a scheme like that of the Chilean who gives so much importance to their attack game.
The bands in the line of three could be for Cristian Tello and Juanmi Jiménez, one of the great revelations of Pellegrini’s work, who has recovered the tip of Coín and has placed him at the best of his contribution and efficiency levels with ten goals in this season, three of them in the last league game against Levante.
In the axis of the attack, Pellegrini could locate the Brazilian William José da Silva, who maintains a special tune with Juanmi since both coincided in the Real Sociedad, although he could also give continuity to Borja Iglesias, who was the nine starter in the Cup.
In the multiple tactical variations of Pellegrini, it would also be possible to play without a reference pure nine, with Juanmi as a point, which would open options on the right wing for players like Rodrigo Sánchez ‘Rodri’ or the Mexican Diego Lainez, without ever ruling out the unbalancing power of captain Joaquín Sánchez.
– Probable lineups:
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Dest, Piqué, Araujo, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Nico González; Dembélé, Gavi and Memphis.
Betis: Rui Silva; Bellerín, Bartra, Edgar; Alex Moreno; Guido, Carvalho; Tello, Juanmi, Canales; and William José.
Referee: Pablo González Fuertes (Asturian Committee)
Stadium: Camp Nou
The keys: The positive dynamics of Barça since Xavi’s arrival can give the Barça players extra energy in the face of a fans that have become excited again. Betis also arrives in a high mood, with four consecutive wins.
The data: Betis last victory at the Camp Nou dates back to the 2018-2019 season, when they won 3-4 under the command of Quique Setién with an exhibition of offensive play.
Xavi Hernández: “We are not thinking about the Champions League, the match against Betis is vital for us and we will play with the best eleven”.
Manuel Pellegrini: “We will go out to find the game from the beginning”
The environment: Barça has lived its first calm week after a long time. In addition to not having played any interweekly game, he has received the good news of the Kopa Trophy for Pedri and the Ballon d’Or for Leo Messi, although the second half of the year the Argentine player is playing with Paris Saint-Germain.