The Spanish La Liga will become the second major football league in Europe to open its doors again as it resumes action on June 11, 2020.
Spain’s first match back from the break is the Sevilla Derby where Sevilla hosts rival Real Betis at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Thursday afternoon. The game will be aired live via beIN Sports at 4 pm EST.
The hosts enter matchday 28 in 3rd place and the thick of the fight for the Champions League. Sevilla is just one point ahead of Real Sociedad and Getafe and with Atletico Madrid just two points back and 7th place Valencia just five points behind them, anything can still happen with 11 matches left to play.
On the other hand, Real Betis is currently in the 13th spot. They are nine points away from the last Europa League spot and only eight points clear of the relegation zone. They need to pick up wins not just to make a run at the Europa League but also to keep their spot in the Spanish top flight.
Sevilla was on a fine run before the sports world was shut down by the coronavirus pandemic. The team was unbeaten in its last six matches with two wins and four draws. In their last match played on March 7, 2020, Sevilla walked away with a 2-2 away draw against Atletico Madrid.
In that match, Luuk de Jong opened the scoring in the 19th minute but Atletico drew even at the 32nd after a penalty shot and then took the lead four minutes later. But Lucas Ocampo tied the game off a penalty shot in the 43rd minute and both sides battled to a draw to finish the contest.
They are currently third in the Spanish La Liga standings with a record of 13 wins, 8 draws, and six losses for a total of 47 points, 11 behind leaders Barcelona and 9 off second-place Real Madrid. Sevilla ranked 5th in the league in scoring and goals conceded with a total of 39 and 29 goals, respectively.
Forward Lucas Ocampos leads the team with a total of 10 goals scored on the season. Luuk de Jong and Franco Vazquez have scored a total of five and three goals, respectively. Midfielder Ever Banega leads the squad with six assists this term while Jesus Nagas and Sergio Reguilon each have four assists for FC Sevilla.
Odds from SportsBetting as of 06/09/2020
Real Betis headed to the shutdown with just one loss in their last four La Liga assignments. The pause in action might have hurt them because they were coming off their biggest win of the season last March 8, 2020, when they shocked second-placed Real Madrid 2-1.
In that game, Real Betis took the lead in the 40th minute thanks to a goal from Sidnei but Real Madrid managed to tie the score at 1-1 with a penalty shot in the third minute of the first-half stoppage time. However, Real Betis was not to be denied as Cristian Tello gave the squad a 2-1 lead with ten minutes left to play and they held on to record the massive upset.
With that win, Real Betis improved to 12th place in the Spanish La Liga team standings with a total of 33 points from a record of 8 wins, 9 draws, and 10 losses. They are tied for 6th place in the La Liga with a total of 38 goals scored this season. However, they are ranked just 18th in goals conceded with already a total of 43 this term.
Lorenzo Moron leads Real Betis with a total of nine goals this season while Joaquin and Nabil Fekir have also contributed a total of eight and seven goals, respectively. Emerson leads the squad with five assists while also scoring three goals while Sergio Canales has four assists and four goals for the team.
These teams have met in a total of 130 times in their history and Sevilla owns the upper hand in their all-time matchup with a record of 61-31-18. Sevilla also owns a sizeable goal difference with a total of 205 goals scored against Real Betis while only giving up a total of 157 goals during over that period.
Sevilla ranks in the bottom half of the Spanish La Liga with a home record of 6-5-2 with a total of 23 points earned from matches played at their stadium. On the other hand, Real Betis is one of the worst squads in Spain when it comes to away record with only a total of nine points earned from a 1-6-6 record away from their home stadium.
The Sevilla Derby is one of the oldest rivalries in Spanish Football and anything can happen when you have these hotly contested matches. Sevilla is playing at their home stadium but their home-field advantage has been wiped out because no fans are allowed at the venue.
You would expect teams to be a little rusty and play with caution especially since this is the first matchday after the coronavirus suspension. However, I think that Sevilla will come out blazing here and throw caution in the wind. Betis has picked up points in seven of their 13 away matches but they only have one road win this season.
Sevilla is in the thick of the fight for the Champions League with still 11 games left to play. Although Betis was coming off a huge win over Real Madrid, it was Sevilla that was playing better football for a longer period. I think Sevilla picks up where it left off and pick up this victory in the Sevilla Derby.
Prediction: Sevilla (-116)
Odds from SportsBetting as of 06/09/2020
Sevilla has scored at least twice in their last four matches. Their last five La Liga matches have produced a total of over 2.5 goals. Real Betis recent away matches have been low scoring but the Sevilla Derby has been an offensive show in recent years with five out of the last six producing at least a total of three goals. Betis has been one of the worst teams in Spain when it comes to allowing goals and Sevilla was in fine form before the season was paused.
Prediction: Over 2.5 goals (+100)