Betis and German Bayer Leverkusen play at Benito Villamarín a key date for the leadership of Group G of the Europa League, both being tied at six points with two games played, and for qualifying for the second round of the second competition continental, after the Verdiblancos victories against Celtic and Ferencvaros.
The injured Germans arrive at Villamarín after their lacerating defeat against Bayern Munich (1-5) and with the very sensitive loss of the Chilean midfielder Charles Aranguiz due to a muscle injury, and Betis is filled with morale after their victory against Alavés (0-1) and the gradual feeling of strength that the Chilean coach has instilled in them Manuel Pellegrini.
For a clash that seems decisive for the Verdiblancos aspirations to go to the qualifying rounds, although there would still be three games to play, the Santiago coach will use a manual faithful to his team idea and to involve his entire squad in the three competitions in which it is immersed in this season.
Will make changes Pellegrini as usual in his eleven, although not in his idea of consolidating the defensive gear as a basis for creativity and the quality of his team from midfield forward, with the non-negotiable axis in the Chilean of the defensive midfield with two players and the hooks in the playmaker in the figures of the French international Nabil Fekir and Sergio Canales.
It does not seem that the santiaguino is going to give rest to Fekir for his decisive contribution to Betic efficiency against the goal, more in the form of spaces created and assists given, nor that Sergio Canales rest in a duel that, without being definitive, could leave a lot decided for the passage to the second round.
Regarding the duel against Alavés and the double league commitment against Rayo Vallecano and Valencia, the Chilean will introduce his usual policy of rotations in almost all lines and in it one of the keys could be in the return of the Argentine anchor Guido Rodriguez to his ‘leadership’ in the Betic closing midfielder.
Next to him, could be the increasingly decisive William Carvalho, while accompanying Channels and Fekir There is a wide range of players among which Pellegrini will take out those who accompany the center forward, a position in which Borja Iglesias, who scored the winning goal against Alavés, starts with more possibilities, to the detriment of the Brazilian William Joseph, starter against the Basque team.
The Chilean goalkeeper could return to eleven Claudio Bravo and the Argentine central German Pezzella And, among the options for the positions above, the Mexican midfielder could count on his first minutes this season Diego Lainez, still unpublished after the injury with his selection in the Olympic Games of Tokyo.
One of the keys to this game will be that those of the Pellegrini They will be supported by the full capacity of Benito Villamarín, another asset for the Chilean to strengthen the Betic options in the European competition.
Wounded by the defeat conceded against Bayern Munich (1-5), in which the defensive weaknesses of the team led by Gerardo SeoaneThe German team will try to reverse the situation, which until then was having a good season.
However, on other occasions the offensive momentum of the team, with the Czech Patrick Schick as one of the best forwards in the Bundesliga, and Florian wirtz as one of the great promises, it ended without bearing fruit due to problems behind.
First of all, the return after losing the ball is a problem for Bayer Leverkusen. Against Bayern, the midfield seemed at times like a free highway for the opponent. The absence of the Chilean midfielder Charles Aranguiz, due to a muscle injury, can aggravate the problems of the aspirin team since it is a key player for stability in the spinal cord.
Real Betis: Claudio Bravo; Bellerín, Pezzella, Édgar, Miranda; Guido Rodríguez, William Carvalho; Rodri, Fekir, Canales and Borja Iglesias.
Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky; Frimpong, Tah, Kossonou, Baker; Amiri, Demirbay; Diaby, Wirtz, Paulinho; and Schick.
Referee: Bartosz Frankowski (Poland)
Stadium: Benito Villamarín.