Real Betis

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Round 16

Real Betis 3 - 2 Athletic Bilbao
2019-12-08 13:00 More Reports
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Round 17

2019-12-15 15:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Real Betis

In


Nabil Fekir (att) Lyon; Juanmi (att) Real Sociedad; Alfonso Pedraza (def) Villarreal; Dani Martin (gk) Sporting Gijon; Juanjo Narvaez (mid) Almeria

Out


Giovani Lo Celso (k) (att) Tottenham; Pau Lopez (r) (gk) Roma; Junior Firpo (r) (def) Barcelona; Ryad Boudebouz (sp) (mid) Saint-Etienne; Sergio Leon (sp) (att) Levante; Aitor Rubial (sp) (att) Leganes; Jese (sp) (att) PSG

After finishing sixth in 2017/18, Real Betis took a step back in 2018/19 by finishing 10th. The style of football grew frustrating too as they became too obsessed with keeping possession. All of this led to the sacking of Quique Setien. Real Betis didn’t want to tear the whole project up and start again. They did want to keep something of a possession-based approach, but wanted someone a little more pragmatic and found him in Rubi, who had just led Espanyol to Europa League qualification. Although Real Betis believe they have an improvement in the dugout, there has been a drop-off in the quality of the squad. They’ve lost a number of starters. Although they’ve gone out and signed replacements in each case, it could be argued that the replacement in each case is a slight downgrade, for example Alfonso Pedraza coming in for Junior Firpo or Nabil Fekier coming in for Giovani Lo Celso. It’s an interesting situation for Real Betis, then. They’ll want to improve on their 10th placed finish, but the squad might be worse even if the coaching change is expected to be a positive. The strength of Real Betis’ academy is a strength for the whole club. They always have gems coming through and always have options when an injury crisis hits. Their weakness under Setien was turning their possession into goals. They had the second-most possession last season, but just the 13th-most goals. The hope, though, is that this will balance out more under Rubi.

Target


Europa League qualification. They qualified for the Europa League two seasons ago and the squad is largely the same. There’s no reason why Real Betis shouldn’t be in the battle for Europa League qualification, even if they might not be one of the favourites to secure it.

Season Review
2018/2019

№10: Real Betis

Real Betis took a step backwards this season. After finishing sixth in 2017/18, they came 10th in 2018/19. The style of football played by Quique Setien was the main talking point surrounding Real Betis all season. They had a possession-based approach and posted the second-best possession numbers in the league after Barcelona, but this style became predictable and there was too often no end product. It didn’t help that Real Betis’ squad lacked a proven goalscorer, but Setien’s reluctance to compromise his approach led to tension between the team and the fans and that’s partly why Setien was sacked at the end of the campaign. There were some positives, such as beating Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in LaLiga, qualifying out of a Europa League group containing AC Milan and Olympiacos before a last 32 exit and reaching the Copa del Rey semi-finals. But Real Betis’ season was defined by their struggles against the smaller teams, the teams that would set up with a deep-lying block. They didn’t have an answer for this and this explains why they finished in mid-table. Overall, the squad is really good and the pick-ups of players such as Sergio Canales and Giovani Lo Celso have been smart, but there is a need to sign a proven striker and also to hire a coach who can be a little more flexible.


Player of the Season: Giovani Lo Celso

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