Real Madrid continue their pursuit of Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table when they travel to Seville and a meeting with Real Betis on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho’s side have won five consecutive league matches after sharing the points in the season’s first Clasico last month. Despite the frustration at not being able to eat into Barcelona’s eight-point lead as they look to retain their La Liga title, Real assistant coach Aitor Karanka has said that the team is only focused on their own results.
“It doesn’t matter what the other teams do,” the Spaniard said, according to the official Real Madrid website. “All our thoughts are about winning all three points and to keep racking them up. The next match is the most important, we must go there to win and not be thinking about what the other teams are doing.”
Los Blancos are coming off little rest having traveled to face Manchester City on Wednesday night and Mourinho may decide to change around the team that emerged with a 1-1 draw after going down to 10 men.
However, his options are limited with Marcelo and Gonzalo Higuain still unavailable. Karanka revealed that Michael Essien has been absent in recent games due an allergic reaction suffered after taking medication.
In Betis, Real Madrid face a side that could well be low on confidence following a humiliating 5-1 defeat to local rivals Sevilla last time out. Pepe Mel’s outfit had been riding high in La Liga up to that point, but a second straight defeat has now see them drop down to sixth place.
Betis’ problems are increased with injuries to defenders Paulao and Mario. Ruben Perez will also be missing after being sent off in last Sunday’s defeat.
Real Betis (probable)
D: Nelson, Amaya, Dorado, Martinez
M: Canas, Benat
Pozuelo, Sevilla, Carlos
Real Madrid (probable)
D: Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao
M: Khedira, Alonso
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
Prediction: Real Madrid could take a while to get going after their midweek exertions, but they should eventually have too much for a Betis side reeling from their derby mauling.
Real Betis 1-3 Real Madrid
Where to watch: The La Liga contest kicks-off from the Estadio Manuel Ruiz de Lopera at 4 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by beIN Sport. A live stream, which you view at your own discretion, will be available here.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.