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Europa League

Real Betis v Man Utd – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Real Betis host Man Utd in the Europa League round-of-16 second leg on Thursday. The Spanish side needs to overturn a 4-1 first-leg deficit at Estadio Benito Villamarin.

Man Utd Europa League

Real Betis host Man Utd in the Europa League round-of-16 second leg on Thursday. The Spanish side needs to overturn a 4-1 first-leg deficit at Estadio Benito Villamarin. Manuel Pellegrini’s side are winless in three matches and have just one win in seven at home coming into this match. Erik Ten Hag could rotate his side ahead of an FA Cup quarter-final.

Real Betis Form

Betis are without a win in three fixtures. Their 4-1 first-leg defeat was sandwiched by a credible 0-0 home draw with Real Madrid and a 1-1 draw at Villarreal over the weekend, a decent result against a top-four rival. They sit three points over fourth spot in La Liga.

After a run of one win in six in all competitions, they went into that first leg with nine points from nine in the league. They won 3-2 at Almeria, 2-1 against Real Valladolid and 3-2 at Elche. Their home form since the World Cup is a real worry with a single win in seven matches. They’ve lost twice and drawn four of those, albeit two of those draws resulted in defeats on penalties in cup exits.

Real Betis Team News

Betis have a few injuries to deal with, not least to key creator Nabil Fekir, whose season is over after knee surgery. In defence, Luiz Felipe is expected to be absent after injuring himself in the first leg. Victor Ruiz to set to replace him.

Winger Juan Cruz is still out but William Carvalho returns after missing the weekend La Liga match due to suspension. Sergio Canales is fit to start at number ten so veteran Joaquin could drop down to the bench.

Real Betis Motivation

Real Betis will give everything to try to turn this deficit around in front of a 60,000 crowd at Estadio Benito Villamarin.

If they can’t progress with the four-goal win that they need, nor take it to extra time by winning by three goals, they will simply play to get a win of any kind in front of their vocal fans.

Man Utd Form

Man Utd have played twice a week for almost three months since the World Cup break. They’ve reached 23 matches in 82 days and have only been beaten twice, 3-2 at Arsenal and their humiliating 7-0 loss at Liverpool just under two weeks ago.

They were on a run of 11 fixtures without losing which included beating Barcelona 2-1 to reach this stage. They also ended a six-year trophy drought by beating Newcastle 2-0 at Wembley in the League Cup. After that thrashing at Anfield, they beat Real Betis 4-1 a week ago. On Saturday, they could only draw 0-0 with Southampton as they played 56 minutes with ten men.

Man Utd Team News

Erik Ten Hag could rotate his side a fair bit in this one. Anthony Martial is close to a return but Alejandro Garnacho is absent in forward areas. It may be time for a first start for Facundo Pellistri are his assist in the first leg. Casemiro is suspended domestically so will start this one, possibly alongside Scott McTominay.

Harry Maguire looks a probable starter in defence with Raphael Varane given a breather. Tyrell Malacia could also play to give a breather to Luke Shaw. Marcus Rashford may be amongst the subs for this one as insurance with Jadon Sancho playing on the left.

Man Utd Motivation

United may be happy to take a draw here and progress. Only a four-goal defeat would see them eliminated (or a three-goal loss and penalties) but Erik Ten Hag will want to at least avoid defeat to try to keep confidence high.

They won’t open up too much in this fixture. With an FA Cup quarter-final over the weekend, there is expected to be one eye on that.

Key Stats

Real Betis have won 1 of their last 7 home matches (L2, D4)

Betis have conceded in 3 of their last 4 home matches in the Europa League

Man Utd have won 3 of their last 4 away Europa League matches (with 1 draw)

Man Utd’s Rashford has scored 17 goals in 22 matches since the World Cup

Man Utd have scored 2+ goals in 13 of their last 15 matches (all competitions)


United should have enough to at least draw in Spain, but take a look at their starting XI first. Betis haven’t been great at home of late but should at least score once.

Best Bet: Man Utd win/draw double chance + Over 1.5 goals at 1.64

Alternative Bet: Man Utd to score Over 1.5 Team Goals at 1.90

Goalscorer Tip: Rashford anytime goalscorer (if he starts) at 2.25

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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