Barcelona vs Real Betis Live : had vastly different summers. The former secured all its targets in the transfer market, while the latter gives the feeling of being still a work in progress despite spending over $340 million.
Barcelona waltzed through its preseason games, while Real Madrid stumbled to defeats against Tottenham Hotspur, Bayern Munich and a 7-3 thrashing at the hands of local rivals Atletico Madrid.
The tables were swiftly reversed in the opening game of the campaign last weekend, with Real winning 3-1 in Vigo while Barcelona lost 1-0 away to Athletic Bilbao.
It took an absolutely stunning goal from Aritz Aduriz just one minute from time to beat Barcelona, but the defending champions hadn’t looked impressive at any stage during the game.
Already without the injured Lionel Messi, the Blaugrana lost Luis Suarez to a calf injury and neither new signing Antoine Griezmann nor Ousmane Dembele could provide any kind of spark offensively.
Barcelona’s lack of attacking verve also illustrated why the club remains in negotiations with Paris-Saint Germain to bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou just two years after he moved to France.
A deal, however, remains far from imminent, particularly given Real Madrid have come back into the race for the Brazilian.
Luckily for Barcelona, the perfect tonic is on the way, with Messi set to return in time for the game against Real Betis.
The visitors have fond memories of the Camp Nou after winning in Barcelona 4-3 last season, but have started with a defeat themselves.
Down to 10 men after just eight minutes of its opening game against Valladolid, Betis conceded a late winner to lose 2-1 last week.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Sunday.
When and where is the game?
Barcelona hosts Real Betis at the Camp Nou on Sunday, August 25, with kick-off scheduled for 9 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET).
Last season’s two meetings were equally split, with Real Betis winning 4-3 in Barcelona and the Catalans securing a 4-1 win in Sevilla.
The game will be broadcast live on beIN SPORTS.
Barcelona’s campaign got off to a disappointing start with a 1-0 defeat in Bilbao against Athletic, courtesy of Aritz Aduriz’s wonder goal.
Without Lionel Messi, the Catalans looked short of inspiration and failed to convert the few chances they created.
Betis also began the season on the back foot, conceding an 89th minute winner as it lost 2-1 at home to Valladolid.
Lionel Messi is fit again after not playing since August 5, but Luis Suarez has been ruled out for three weeks after picking up a calf strain against Athletic Bilbao.
Ousmane Dembele was also injured in the opening game of the season and will be out for five weeks with a hamstring injury.
According to Oddschecker, Barcelona is a 29/100 favorite, while the draw is at 11/2 and Betis is a 12/1 outsider.