Preview: Barça vs. Betis – For Want of a Nail


Get out of here if you think that the Liga is already won. None of the opponents in the 5 remaining games will be pushovers. A win tonight will mean that Barça requires 2 points more to seal the championship, assuming that Madrid wins all their games.

Betis, Atlético Madrid, Valladolid, Espanyol and Málaga stand between the Blaugrana and La Copa de La Liga.

A. Madrid at home is always tense, and I fear for penalties, red cards and for our players’ lives with Diego Costa anywhere within 5 kilometers of them.

Valladolid took it to Real Madrid last night and nearly came away with the draw after playing very well and at pace.

In a Catalan derby anything can happen, and Espanyol usually arrives at Camp Nou determined to leave “la mierda de los pericos” all over it.

Málaga and Betis are still duking it out for a Europa League place. With one less game played, the Verdiblancos are 4 points behind Pellegrini’s team, so 3 points from tonight’s game would give them a lot of joy.

Barça needs a win tonight for 3 points and as a massive psychological boost before next week’s away game against A. Madrid.


The Last Game
Back in December 2012, Barça went to Betis’ Benito Villamarin Stadium and came away with a narrow 1-2 win in which Messi broke Gerd Müller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year.

Kxevin’s review from that game will give you an idea of how close it was, and some of the comments under the Match Preview will now sound like portents, given how the team’s performance has panned out in the latter half of the season.


Betis Away Results
The Verdiblancos haven’t been doing too badly on the road. With 7 wins and 23 points, they’re third equal with Real Sociedad, with only Barça (12 away wins) and Real Madrid (9 Away wins) sitting ahead of them.


What Betis is Bringing to Camp Nou
Pepe Mel. The team’s Manager plays hard ball. He is a thinker and a great strategist, and he successfully instils his tactics into his players. If the homeside scores and then sits back thinking that they’ve done enough (When have they ever done that?), Betis will punish them.

The players travelling to Camp Nou are: Adrián, Fabricio, Chica, Varela, Álex Martínez, Caro, Amaya, Mario, Rubén Pérez, Nosa, Salva Sevilla, Beñat, Vadillo, Campbell, Juan Carlos, Pabón, Jorge Molina and Rubén Castro.

Betis is without their Captain and #1 GK, Casto, who is out with a knee injury. Brazilian Defender, Paulão, damaged his Achilles Tendon, and DFs Perquis and Ángel & MF Nono are also missing.

Suspended players are Defender Nacho and Mid-fielder Cañas.

Key play-maker Beñat suffered from back problems earlier in the week but should be available.

Jorge Molina and Rubén Castro are always threats, as is on-loan Arsenal player Joel Campbell.

Arsenal and Betis appear to be strengthening their ties with an imminent “collaborative agreement” to be signed between the clubs which would see Arsenal lending more players to Betis in order to progress their skills and increase their playing time.

Our Guys

VV is out with an injured left foot. He appeared to be in some discomfort after hoofing the ball down the pitch to Alaba who sent it over to Robben for the 1st Camp Nou goal.

Pedro has been ruled out with a gastro infection.

Cesc is suspended with a Yellow card accumulation which, if my memory serves me accurately, has been partly acquired from bitching at too many officials.

Puyol and Mascherano remain in the sick bay.

Busquets and Abidal have been cleared to play, and Messi can play even with thigh problems because apparently he never received a medical red light so he doesn’t need a medical green light.

After publicly censuring Piqué for his comments after the Bayern Munich game, it remains to be seen if Tito will play him or whether he’ll be benched for “technical reasons”.

My team would be:
Alves  Piqué  Abidal  Alba
Xavi  Song  Iniesta
Alexis  Villa  Tello

All going well and barring unexpected events, my subs would be Adriano for Abidal, Thiago for Xavi and Messi for Villa – the latter could work in reverse too.

Visca Barça – let’s do this!


Pinto when he played for Betis at the beginning of his senior career
Pinto when he played for Betis at the beginning of his senior career


The game kicks off at 21:00 CET on Sunday 5th May

Click here to convert the match time to your timezone: FC Barcelona vs. Real Betis Balompie

Streams for the match are usually found on First Row, Roja Directa and Bar TV.

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  1. nzm
    May 5, 2013

    If we could leave the Comments Section free of transfer rumours etc for now, and just focus on this game and support for our team, it would be greatly appreciated!

    • May 5, 2013

      Sell nzm!!!

      jus kiddin – thanks for the preview. Visca Barça!

      • nzm
        May 5, 2013

        Don’t think you’d get a lot for me, but I can cut mean orange quarters for half-time. 🙂

      • May 5, 2013

        Oh, here it is:

        We have a very solid base here, young players. What we are going to do is strengthen it. The player who made those remarks didn’t imagine that he might be one of those changes, did he?”

        Tee hee!

        • mom4
          May 5, 2013

          barcastuff‏@barcastuff4 May
          Vilanova: “Player (Pique) saying changes are needed? Guess that player doesn’t expect him to be among the changes, right?”

          • Jim
            May 5, 2013

            Hmm, that’s okay as a put down as long as Tito doesn’t actually believe it. We do need at least a couple of top players coming in.

        • TITO
          May 5, 2013

          If it was met to be funny, it ain’t at all.
          If it was a serious remark, it’s even worse.

  2. PrinceYuvi
    May 5, 2013

    Pedro out with virus. Hope they start with Deulofeu.

  3. htMillBay
    May 5, 2013

    Is Xavi back to full fitness? I say play Thiago or Cesc otherwise. It is really crazy how we overplay Xavi into the ground when we have the best midfield backups in the world.

    • nzm
      May 5, 2013

      You didn’t read the Preview did you? 🙂

  4. mom4
    May 5, 2013

    My team plays my second favorite La Liga team today. This will be no walk in the park. Betis has real attitude and a good bit of skill to back it up. We need to wrap this league up ASAP.

    Pinto pic? Looks good there! Just sayin’. 🙂

  5. replayed
    May 5, 2013

    A win tonight will mean that Barça requires 1 point more to seal the championship, assuming that Madrid wins all their games.

    That should be 2 more points, no? If both teams finish on 89 points, then Madrid wins on head-to-head.

    • nzm
      May 5, 2013

      Yes – just came to amend that but was first reading through the comments to see if anyone had picked it up.

      Thanks for reading so diligently!

    • nzm
      May 5, 2013

      I always forget that La Liga ties are decided on the direct head-to-head GD instead of the overall GD.

  6. Clouseau
    May 5, 2013

    Those were the days,Pinto! young and crispy haha

    Would like to see Barta tested out over Abidal today and if the Title is sealed playing in later games as rightback.
    Team suffered from Abi’s illness leaving the back 4 unbalanced. Perhaps he can grow into that role and balance things out.

    With Mourinhos upcoming departure Pepe Mel becomes LL longest serving coach.

    Looking forward tonight’s game. Hope they manage´to put on an inspirational performance!

  7. nzm
    May 5, 2013

    Team is
    Alves Pique Adriano Alba
    Xavi Song Iniesta
    Alexis Villa Tello

    Subs: Oier, Bartra, Montoya, Busquets, Thiago, Messi & Deulofeu.

    • mom4
      May 5, 2013

      If he works hard and stays humble, that kid on the bench, Messi, could be a starter one day.

      • nzm
        May 5, 2013

        I think that he’ll have to leave to get more playing time.

  8. TITO
    May 5, 2013

    So is:

    Alves, Piqué, Adriano, Alba, Xavi, Song, Iniesta, Alexis, Villa and Tello.

    We have to win, i’ll hate it if we let it late in the season.

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