Barcelona v Real Betis: Complete Match Preview, Line-ups and stats

By 03 May 2013 03:55

Having just witnessed the complete demolition of the Catalan giants in the Champions League semi-final by Bayern Munich - 3-0 on Wednesday in Barcelona and 7-0 on aggregate - there is a lot more value to this game, and Barca may need to put their celebrations on halt for another week.

The huge loss in the Champions League will have dented egos and confidence, but in truth that tie was over after the first leg.

What is of more immediate concern is that the team seem to lack their usual cutting edge, unless a certain Argentine is playing.

However, both teams go into the match with something to play for, which ensures that this game won't become your usual end-of-season bore fest.

Barcelona will be hoping to continue their La Liga home form that has seen them win all but one home fixture this season.

History was made the last time the teams faced each other, at the Benito Villamarin on December 9, 2012.

It was a special night in the career of Lionel Messi, as it was the day when he broke Gerd Muller's 40-year-old record of goals in a calendar year.

Team News: Barcelona

Sergio Busquets may be rested if he hasn't fully recovered from his hernia troubles; expect Alex Song to continue to deputise if so.

It's unlikely team captain Carles Puyol nor Javier Mascherano will be rushed back despite La Blaugrana's well-documented defensive problems.

Jordi Alba returns to the left-back slot after missing the Champions League return against Bayern Munich, and Eric Abidal may slot in alongside Gerard Pique.

Team News: Real Betis

Pepe Mel has the luxury of boasting no new injury worries or suspensions ahead of the trip to Camp Nou.

Expect the same lineup as the one that started against Deportivo La Coruna and Pepe Mel's tactics to be to take the game to their more illustrious opponents, defending from the front.

Barcelona: Probable Lineup

Valdes, Alves, Pique, Abidal, Alba, Iniesta, Song, Xavi, Sanchez, Pedro, Villa.

Real Betis: Probable Lineup

Adrian, Torres, Amaya, Perquis, Nacho, Alvaro, Benat, Campbell, Canas, Molina, Ruben Castro

Source: DSG

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