On Sunday, March 19, Real Betis will take on Mallorca at the Benito Villamarn Stadium in La Liga in an effort to end their five-game losing streak across all competitions. Los Beticos have been going through the motions lately, losing both of their Europa League games and drawing twice in a row in the league.
While they held Real Madrid, the current champions of Spain, to a goalless draw, Manuel Pellegrini’s team was hammered 4-1 by Manchester United in the first leg of their Round of 16 matches at Old Trafford a few days later.
After that, Betis lost a first-half lead against Villarreal to draw 1-1 in the league. In the return match, they lost 1-0 to United, ending their European campaign. On the off chance that their unfortunate run proceeds, the Seville outfit risk passing up European football by and large next season, as seventh-set Rayo Vallecano is only seven focuses behind fifth-set Betis.
In contrast, Mallorca has performed worse, winning only one of their last five games in the top division and none of their last three. The Pirates were able to draw 1-1 with Real Sociedad, who were in fourth place, after suffering consecutive defeats.
Betis will be hoping to get back to winning ways against an unpredictable Mallorca team, despite their recent struggles. The Pirates have played poorly on the road and have been extremely inconsistent.
Prediction: Real Betis 2-1 Mallorca
Betis has won 13 of the 31 meetings between the two teams and lost 11. Betis is unbeaten in seven games against Mallorca and has won their last two matches. Mallorca’s previous beating Betis in May 2013 (1-0). Under Pepe Mel, Betis have only lost one of their last six La Liga matches against Mallorca at home, a 2-1 defeat in December 2012.
In their last nine La Liga games played on the road against Andalusian teams, Mallorca has failed to win three of those contests. Under Javier Aguirre, Mallorca has lost their last five La Liga games away from home, their longest losing streak in the competition.
Luiz Henrique, an exciting 22-year-old winger for Betis, will not play this weekend because he received his fifth caution of the season during the 1-1 draw with Villarreal on Sunday.
Fellow young forward Juan Cruz scored his first La Liga goal against Real Sociedad in October, breaking into the first-team setup shortly before the World Cup break. However, since the Spanish top flight resumed, he has been struggling with muscular issues.
After rupturing his cruciate ligament in February, Betis’ arguably most talented player, Nabil Fekir, has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Juan Miranda is a natural replacement for Brazilian left-back Abner, who left Thursday’s match against Manchester United on a limp.
After the Kosovo international served his one-game suspension last weekend, Aguirre will be able to call on top scorer Vedat Muriqi once more. The aerially dominant striker is crucial to Mallorca’s direct approach and is responsible for 45% of the team’s league goals.
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