Real Betis vs Leganes
Spain – LaLiga
Date: Saturday, 31 August 2019
Kick-off at 20:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Venue: Estadio Benito Villamarín (Sevilla).
Both teams have posted perfect losing records in this edition of the La Liga and remain the only ones to do so. Rightfully, they are placed 19th and 20th in the table of 20. Each side seems to have their own problems, with Leganes yet to find the back of the net, while Betis having conceded the most number of goals so far.
Anyhow, once the third match-day is over, at a minimum, only one squad will possess a losing record.
Hosts Betis will be hoping their home advantage to help them post their first win. The team is in direct contradiction to their performance of last campaign, as they had managed to reach within just three points of a Europa spot.
They had begun their current run at home, against Valladolid, and were dealt with a 1-2 loss. Later, they followed it up with a loss against defending champions Barcelona, at the Camp Nou.
The visitors had begun on the right note with a goal in the 15th minute itself against the title-holders, but then the Blaugrana woke up with a vengeance to put five goals in a row, into the visitors’ nets.
Real Betis vs Leganes H2H
Last 6 meetings: 3 Betis Wins, 3 Leganes Wins.
The last 6 meetings have all gone the way of the team playing at home.
Leganes have lost on all of their top flight visits to the Benito Villamarin but they did win here in the Segunda in March 2015.
Lega were 3-0 winners in the most recent clash which was at Butarque in February.
Real Betis vs Leganes Preview
We may only be two games into the season but this match does feature La Liga’s bottom two clubs with neither side having recorded any points yet this term. Therefore both camps will be a bit edgy heading into this game, particularly Betis who had high hopes of an improved campaign following the arrival of Rubi as boss and a few high profile signings.
They scored a couple of cracking goals at Camp Nou last weekend with Nabil Fekir breaking his duck for the club but overall it was an unconvincing performance as Betis slumped to a 5-2 defeat against a Barcelona side that was missing Leo Messi and Luis Suarez. This will clearly be a very different type of game but they still can’t afford to be as sloppy defensively against a pacey Leganes front-line.
The visitors are likely to defend deep and try to use the legs of Martin Braithwaite and Youssef En-Nesyri on the break. They were very strong at home last season but improving their away form will be quite high up on Mauricio Pellegrino’s list of priorities, not least given they’ve started this campaign with back-to-back home defeats.
The signing of Roque Mesa adds a touch of real quality to their midfield and their side certainly looks strong enough to be competitive again at this level. They’ll be reasonably optimistic about their chances of getting something from this game given the way Betis have started however it is worth noting that Lega are yet to pick up a top flight point on this ground.
Real Betis vs Leganes Predictions
Last season this match might have been billed as the pass masters against the long ball merchants but that may be an overly simplistic way to look at this fixture now given both sides are likely to tweak their style this term. Lega no longer have Guido Carrillo up top to play as a target man and may look to develop more of a counter-attacking game on the road while Betis will perhaps try to move the ball forward a bit quicker under Rubi than they did under Quique Setien. They’ve looked vulnerable defensively though with the switch to a back four not quite paying off so far and Leganes do have a forward-line that could capitalise on that so don’t rule out a score draw here.
Current Real Betis squad is:
Forwards: Juanmi, Borja Iglesias, Loren Moron
Midfilders: Joaquín, Antonio Barragán, Andrés Guardado, Sergio Canales, Cristian Tello, William Carvalho, Nabil Fekir, Wilfrid Kaptoum, Alfonso Pedraza, Diego Lainez, Juan Narváez, Francis Guerrero
Defenders: Javi García, Sidnei, Marc Bartra, Aïssa Mandi, Zouhair Feddal, Alex Moreno, Emerson, Edgar Gonzalez
Goalkeepers: Joel Robles, Carlos Marin, Dani Martín, Daniel Rebollo
Predicted line-up (3-5-2): Joel Robles; Mandi, Bartra, Sidnei; Emerson, Canales, Guardado, William Carvalho, Pedraza; Loren Moron, Fekir
Current Leganés squad is:
Forwards: Martin Braithwaite, Juan Muñoz, José Manuel Arnáiz, Youssef En-Nesyri, Aitor Ruibal
Midfilders: Rubén Pérez, Recio, Alexander Szymanowski, Roque Mesa, Javier Eraso, Óscar Rodríguez, Fede Varela
Defenders: Dimitrios Siovas, Roberto Rosales, Jonathan Silva, Kenneth Omeruo, Rodrigo Tarin, Unai Bustinza, Vasyl Kravets, Álex Martín, Chidozie Awaziem, Marc Navarro
Goalkeepers: Iván Cuéllar, Juan Soriano, André Felipe Grandi
Predicted line-up (5-3-2): Cuellar; Rosales, Bustinza, Omeruo, Siovas, Silva; Oscar Rodriguez, Ruben Perez, Recio; Braithwaite, En-Nesyri