Real Madrid will host Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu in the La Liga encounter on the 21st of May. Fans at the Santiago Bernabeu will witness the conclusion of yet another successful and title-winning La Liga campaign by Real Madrid as they host fifth-placed Real Betis. While Los Blancos will have one eye on their Champions League final against Liverpool on May 28th, the match could prove to be pivotal for Real Betis who are still fighting for European qualification.
Since winning the La Liga title with a 4-0 rout of Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu in April, Real Madrid have only won one of their three La Liga matches. However, that victory came in their most recent fixture at home against Levante, where they thumped the already relegation-threatened opposition 6-0 and suggested that they mean business even towards the closing stages of the season.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side drew their most recent contest in La Liga 1-1 against Cadiz. Mariano Diaz gave them the early lead of the match, however, Ruben Soriano ended up cancelling it in favour of the hosts. With that being said, however, Los Blancos rested a number of key players at the Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla, and it is fair to suggest that all their priority and focus is now on the upcoming final of Europe’s premier competition. They will square off against the Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who are still in the fight for the Premier League title going into the final matchday, in Paris on May 28th.
Karim Benzema and co will be looking to make it a double silverware success at the end of the month. The Spanish champions are gunning for their 14th Champions League trophy and recent history will also favor them, given that they had defeated Liverpool to win their 13th and most recent Champions League title in 2018.
It goes without a doubt that Real Madrid have comfortably been the best side in the Spanish top flight this season. They have won 26 games, drawn seven and have been on the losing side in only four of their 37 matches so far. The league champions have also found the back of the net on 80 occasions and have conceded only 31 goals during this period.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid also have the best home record in the Spanish top flight this season. They have picked up 43 points from their 18 matches at the Santiago Bernabeu in La Liga and have suffered just one defeat, that too against their arch-rivals Barcelona in an embarrassing 4-0 humiliation. With that being said, however, they will be welcoming a Real Betis side who have the third-best away record in La Liga and they have secured 32 points from their 18 matches on the road.
Although Real Betis are only three points behind fourth-placed Sevilla in the La Liga table, there is no chance for them to be able to qualify for the Champions League next season. Even if Real Betis defeat Real Madrid while Sevilla lose their final match of the season, the inferior head-to-head record between Real Betis and Sevilla indicates that the Green and Whites will finish fifth or sixth, regardless of whatever happens on the final matchday. Thus, Europa League football is confirmed for Manuel Pellegrini’s team for the upcoming season.
This particular season has been very fruitful for Real Betis fans. Manuel Pellegrini’s team have enjoyed a strong campaign in La Liga and also lifted the Copa del Rey earlier this month. They are also on course to finish their highest in the Spanish top flight since claiming 4th way back in 2005. A double Guard of Honor will be expected as they walk out on the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, with both Real Betis and Real Madrid winning silverware in the Spanish domestic season.
Real Betis only have a two-point lead over Real Sociedad in sixth place. A defeat against Real Madrid in the Spanish capital would open the door for the side from the Basque region of Spain to capitalize on. However, they will also be facing Atletico Madrid at home on Sunday, which could prove to be a tough fixture to overcome. Diego Simeone’s side have already secured Champions League football.
The Green and Whites will enter this match on the back of a 2-0 victory over Granada on Sunday. They had also gotten the better of Valencia, 3-0 on May 10, and therefore it has been an impressive week for the club. Real Betis had also participated in the UEFA Europa League this season but were knocked out by eventual winners Einteract Frankfurt in the last 16 stages.
As mentioned before, Manuel Pellegrini’s men have been quite impressive on their travels in the Spanish top flight this season. The last time they visited Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last season, the outfit from Seville claimed an impressive point in a goalless draw. However, their last victory against Real Madrid in an away fixture was way back in May 2019, but it goes without saying that they will be hoping to break that jinx against the Spanish champions.
RMA vs RBB, La Liga 2021/22
Date: 21st May, 2022
Time: 12:30 AM IST
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Real Madrid La Liga form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
Real Betis La Liga form:
Real Betis form (all competitions):
Real Madrid wins: 19
Real Betis wins: 5
Real Madrid Team News: Real Madrid fans have been greeted with even more positive news lately as David Alaba is now back in full training this week. The Austrian international captain had spent the last few weeks sidelined because of an adductor problem but is now recovering well. Although he has been left out of the squad for this match as a precaution, he will be expected to take to the field against Liverpool in Paris.
Eden Hazard has also been doubtful following a foot problem that he suffered against Cadiz. However, the Belgium international, who has struggled with injuries during his career with Real Madrid, has been included in the squad for Friday’s fixture against Real Betis.
The likes of Marcelo, Gareth Bale, and Isco, who have mostly been relegated to the bench this season, are also pushing to be involved in this fixture. The trio of players is expected to depart the club this summer and this is likely to be their final match in a Real Madrid shirt if they are handed a start here.
Senior players Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Junior, and Karim Benzema overall rested in the previous match against Cadiz. While veteran midfielder Luka Modric was suspended, he should also return to the starting XI for this fixture.
Carlo Ancelotti might also hand starts to Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy. However, Casimiro, who has seen plenty of game time recently, might be given a rest with Eduardo, finger potentially starting alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the heart of the Real Madrid midfield.
Real Betis Team News: As far as Real Betis are concerned, Victor Camarasa and former Barcelona players Claudio Bravo and Martin Montoya are all sidelined for this game with an injury. Former La Mafia graduate Marc Bartra, however, returns to the side having served his suspension in the previous clash.
Spanish right-back Hector Bellerin could make his final appearance for the Seville-based outfit. He is expected to return to his parent club Arsenal this summer and therefore it will not be surprising to see a Manuel Pellegrini field the same XI that took to the field against Granada in the previous weekend.
While William Jose is in contention for the center forward spot, Borja Iglesias should keep his place. Senior players Joaquin and Andres Guardado are likely to come off the bench again as substitutes.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Nacho, Militao, Mendy; Kroos, Camavinga, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius
Real Betis possible starting lineup:
Silva; Bellerin, Pezzella, Gonzalez, Moreno; Rodriguez, Carvalho; Canales, Fekir, Juanmi; Iglesias
Real Betis will be keen to ensure that they finish in the fifth place in La Liga, which will be their highest ever Spanish top flight since they finished fourth in 2005. They will be hoping to beat Real Sociedad to that spot and while securing points from the league champions’ den sounds like a difficult task, Real Madrid will be focusing on getting through the match without any injuries or inconveniences.
Los Blancos have little to nothing to play for, and therefore they wouldn’t be willing to risk much given that their primary test will be against Liverpool in Paris. Therefore, a draw is expected to be the most likely outcome of this encounter.