Osasuna v Real Betis – El Sadar Stadium at 19:30 live on BT Sport 5
“I’m in intensive care, but I’m not dead yet,” insisted Real Betis boss Gus Poyet after Los Verdiblancos were thrashed 6-1 by Real Madrid in front of their home supporters last Sunday.
Poyet claimed Betis’ performance was “bordering on the ridiculous” as they slipped to a third defeat in four. The fans were chanting for him to go during a miserable display at the Benito Villamarin left the club a solitary point outside the bottom-three.
Los Verdiblancos have already had to travel to Barcelona, Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Valencia. Arguably four of the toughest away days in La Liga. With a 3-2 success at the Mestalla the only points picked up in games as guests.
Betis’ defence problems
It means Betis have W6-D6-L11 on the road since the start of last season. But that record improves to W3-D2-L1 when visiting bottom-six sides. However, Poyet’s troops have struggled to keep their sheets clean and are now nine without a shutout away from the Benito Villamarin.
Los Verdiblancos have already leaked 18 goals this term. But exclude the matches against Barcelona and Real Madrid and that tally reduces to six goals in six games. With a total expected goals value of 2.44 goals-per-game.
Indeed 12 of Betis’ last 20 away games failed to breach the Over 2.5 Goals line. Their record at bottom-half sides in 2015/16 (W4-D4-L2) includes a hunky seven showdowns to feature two goals or fewer with only four rewarding Both Teams To Score backers.
But Poyet may revert to a more traditional 4-4-2 formation to allow Joaquin and Charly Musonda hug the flanks on Friday with Alex Alegrra’s place potentially under threat. Elsewhere, veteran marksman Ruben Castro will lead the line with the under-fire coach well aware a positive result is necessary.
Osasuna off the mark
Hosts Osasuna recorded their first La Liga victory since promotion on Monday evening. Coming from behind to defeat Basque rivals Eibar 3-2 in a ding-dong encounter. The win pushed Los Rojillos four points clear of rock-bottom Granada.
Enrique Martin’s men managed two points from their first 18 available before holding Las Palmas (2-2) to an enjoyable draw. Osasuna had led 2-0 in that encounter before being pegged back.
Striker Sergio Leon’s made an immediate impact, notching four goals in six appearances since joining the Basque outfit. There’s a suggestion Oriol Riera could also be included in the XI on Friday as Martin bids for back-to-back triumphs.
Goals the angle to attack
However, despite the obvious recent positives, Los Rojillos have been shipping goals at an alarming rate. The newcomers have already conceded 17 goals across their opening eight games, including at least twice in six of their last seven.
Five of Osasuna’s past six have produced Over 2.5 Goals winners with four even surpassing three three-goal line and with just a solitary shutout to their name, it’s easy to see why goals could potentially flow at El Sadar.
Collectively the pair have kept just 3/16 (19%) clean sheets and fired blanks in 5/16 (31%) of their La Liga outings. A healthy 9/16 (56%) of those encounters produced at least three goals so I’ll support Over 2.25 Goals at 1.88.
Betis’ track record certainly doesn’t scream goals but the necessity to avoid another miserable result, plus Osasuna’s newfound confidence, should ensure a more forward-thinking clash than we’re used to.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Over 2.25 Goals at 1.88
Prices correct at time of writing.
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