It is a top-half of La Liga clash as sixth-placed Real Betis host ninth-placed Rayo Vallecano at the Benito Villamarin on Monday at 19:00 GMT.
Betis are still making a play for the European places in the last five matches of the La Liga season. They currently sit two points behind the improved Villarreal and nine points behind fourth-placed Real Sociedad.
Rayo Vallecano look to seal a top-half finish this season as they navigate the last five matches of the season. They are currently ninth with 46 points, two ahead of 10th-placed Osasuna.
Real Betis’ Play for European Places
Real Betis’ inconsistency has been the Achilles heel as their challenge for a top-four finish has faded in recent months. As Real Sociedad have gone on a run of four matches unbeaten, Betis have won just once in their last four.
Manuel Pellegrini will be looking to improve their run-in matches as they look to stay with a chance of qualifying for Europe – the Europa League or Conference League next season.
In their last five outings, Betis have won just twice; they have lost two matches and drawn once. This run of form has seen the fall down the table to sixth. Pellegrini will be keen to reverse their form in the business end, starting with the clash against Rayo Vallecano.
Playing at home, Betis will be aggressive in their approach. They will start fast, dominate the ball and force Vallecano to defend for most of the match. This will be geared toward creating chances and enhancing their chances of winning.
Rayo Vallecano’s Bid for a Top-Half Finish
Vallecano have blown hot and cold in recent matches. They have won three times, with defeats intertwined between each of these victories. This form means that Vallecano have made little progress in terms of climbing the table.
They have amassed 46 points, two behind two sides above them – 8th-placed Athletic Club and 7th-placed Giron both on 47 points. Their opponents on Monday are six points ahead on 52 points.
Vallecano will look to cut Real Betis’ lead down to three points with a win away from home. Andoni Iraola Sagarna and his men bid to bolster their consistency in the run-in as they look to seal a top-four finish.
Vallecano will look to be strong defensively against Betis away from home. They will defend in numbers and seek to attack in transitions.
Attacking midfielder Nabil Fekir is out of selection ahead of the clash with Vallecano on Monday. The forward is sidelined with a cruciate ligament rupture.
Fekir has been out of action since February 27, 2023. He has missed 17 matches for Betis so far. He is unlikely to be available for the home clash against Vallecano.
Vallecano will be without their center-forward Radamel Falcao, with the 37-year-old ruled out with a dead leg. Falcao has been out of action since April 15, 2023, and has already missed four matches for Vallecano.
The striker is unlikely to be available for Monday’s away clash with Betis.
C. Bravo; J. Miranda, P. Akouokou, G. Pezzella, Y. Sabaly; A. Guardado, G. Rodriguez; A. Perez, W. Carvalho, S. Canales; Willian Jose
S. Dimitrievski; I. Balliu, A. Mumin, A. Catena, F. Garcia; O. V, S. Comesana; I. Palazon, O. Trejo, A. Garcia; R. de Tomas
Betis will play on the front foot with the support of the home supporters. They will press and aggressively seek to win back possession when they lose it.
Vallecano will be compact and solid in their approach; they will defend in numbers and use the counter to attack Betis.
Real Betis will win the match and bolster their chances of climbing the table in the run-in.
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