Barcelona v Real Betis

BETTING & MATCH PREVIEW

La Liga champions Barcelona will be looking to bounce back from an opening gameweek defeat when the Catalan giants host Real Betis at the Nou Camp on Sunday night.

Ernesto Valverde’s side suffered a surprise opening weekend 1-0 defeat against Athletic Bilbao at San Mames. In fact, Barcelona’s recent record in the Spanish top-flight is inconsistent, as they have won just two of their last five league matches.

Uncharacteristically for Barcelona, their recent league games have been low-scoring, with under 2.5 goals scored in five of their last six matches.

Barcelona do have a strong recent home record in La Liga, winning 11 of their last 12 games in the Spanish top-flight. In fact, Real Betis were the last team to win at the Nou Camp back in November of 2018.

A key to Barcelona’s good home form is their effectiveness in front of goal, as they have scored at least twice in 13 of their last 15 outings.

The home side has beaten Betis in three of the last four meetings in all competitions.

Real Betis kicked off their La Liga campaign with a 2-1 home defeat against Real Valladolid. The defeat means that the team from Andalucia have now won just two of their last eight league games in the Spanish top-flight.

The visitors recent away record in La Liga is poor, as they have lost four of their last five matches on their travels in the Spanish top-flight. However, the exception in the poor run of form was a 2-0 away win at Real Madrid.

TEAM NEWS

Barcelona have massive likely absentees with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele all struggling to be fit to feature. Back-up goalkeeper Neto also looks unlikely to feature. Real Betis’ only likely absence is striker Borja Iglesias, who is struggling with a sprained ankle.

Match Prediction

Barcelona made an unconvincing start to their campaign and could be missing some key players in this clash. However, I still believe they will sneak a victory in a low-scoring encounter.

1/4 Odds

PREDICTION – HOME WIN

Odds correct at time of publication – please check with your bookmaker before placing a bet as fluctuations can occur.