Sports Mole previews Thursday’s La Liga clash between Osasuna and Real Betis, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Osasuna will look to continue their impressive start to the La Liga season on Thursday, when they welcome Real Betis to the Estadio El Sadar.
A tally of eight points from their first five league game sees them sit in ninth spot in the La Liga table, while their visitors sit two points worse off in 11th place.
After last season’s 11th-placed finish, Osasuna will have headed into the new campaign with the aim of breaking into the top half, and they started with commendable, but relatively uninspiring, goalless draws with Espanyol and Celta Vigo.
Nonetheless, Jagoba Arrasate will have been pleased with the defensive solidarity shown by his side, and they built on those draws with a dramatic 3-2 win over Cadiz, as Roberto Torres netted a 91st-minute equalizer and David Garcia snatched all three points with a winner in the 95th minute, before suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of Valencia.
Jon Moncayola put Osasuna ahead inside the first 10 minutes, but Maxi Gomez, Goncalo Guedes and Omar Alderete got on the scoresheet for the visitors alongside an Aridane Hernandez own goal in a rampant display to leave Los Rojillos’ defensive record in a far worse state.
Arrasate’s men bounced back in style last time out, with first-half goals from Garcia and Torres firing them to a 2-0 away win over Alaves, and they will hope that acts as a springboard for a winning run, but face a tough test against Real Betis.
An impressive end to last season saw Real Betis earn a sixth-placed finish in the Spanish top flight, booking their spot in this year Europa League, but they started the new domestic campaign in relatively disappointing fashion, being held to draws by Mallorca and Cadiz .
Manuel Pellegrini‘s men were then handed a narrow 1-0 defeat by title-chasing Real Madrid, before putting their first win of the season on the board as an 89th-minute Sergio Canales goal saw them snatch a 2-1 victory away at Granada.
They built on that with a second straight win, as they took on Celtic in the opening Europa League group game, and a Juanmi brace and goals from Juan Miranda and Borja Iglesias saw them come out of a dramatic clash against Celtic with a 4-3 victory.
Los Verdiblancos then looked set to see out a third consecutive win last time out, as they led Espanyol 2-1 heading into injury time, thanks to a goal from Nabil Fekir and an Adria Pedrosa own goal, only for Leandro Cabrera to snatch a point for the visitors with a 97th-minute equalizer.
Following that late disappointment, Pellegrini’s side will look to bounce back to winning ways, with a victory seeing them leapfrog their opponents in the table.
Osasuna La Liga form:
Real Betis La Liga form:
Real Betis form (all competitions):
Kike Barja will remain out of action through injury for Osasuna, while key attacker Ante Budimir and summer signing Javier Ontiveros are major doubts.
With those absences, Kike Garcia should continue to lead the line with the support of wingers Ruben Garcia and Roberto Torres, who has already netted two league goals in four outings this season.
Real Betis have a longer list of issues to deal with, as center-backs Marc Bartra and Victor Ruiz will miss out alongside full-back Youssouf Sabalywhile Arsenal loanee Hector Bellerin is unlikely to feature.
In the absence of Ruiz and Bartra, midfield enforcer Guido Rodriguez may have to slot in as a makeshift center-back, with William Carvalho expected to come into the engine room and shield the defense in his place.
Borja Iglesias will lead the line with the support of Nabil Fekir, while Juanmi should also play a key role from the wing.
Osasuna possible starting lineup:
Herrera; Vidal, D Garcia, Hernandez, Sanchez; Torro, Brasanac, Moncayola; R Garcia, K Garcia, Torres
Real Betis possible starting lineup:
Bravo; Montoya, Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Moreno; Carvalho, Canales; Juanmi, Fekir, Tello; Iglesias
We say: Osasuna 1-1 Real Betis
Real Betis may normally come into this clash as favorites, but, other than a surprise thrashing at the hands of Valencia, Osasuna have shown themselves to be tough to defeat.
We do not see either side outclassing the other on Thursday, instead opting for a low-scoring draw as their efforts could cancel one another out.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home / Away: data