Barcelona vs Real Betis LIVE Football Score 12/01/2023
Real Betis and Barcelona will do battle in the Spanish Super Cup semi-finals on Thursday night at the King Fahd International Stadium in Saudi Arabia. Los Verdiblancos are present in the last four after winning the 2021-22 Copa del Rey – their first trophy for 17 years – while the Catalan giants finished second in La Liga behind champions Real Madrid last season. Since returning from the World Cup break, Real Betis are unbeaten in three matches across all competitions, with a goalless La Liga draw against Athletic Bilbao followed by back-to-back away wins over Ibiza Islas Pitiusas and Rayo Vallecano.
Los Verdiblancos managed to avoid an embarrassing Copa del Rey upset in the last 32 when they came from behind to beat third-tier side Ibiza 4-1 in their first game of 2023, before securing a 2-1 league victory over Rayo Vallecano last Sunday, with Luiz Henrique netting what proved to be the winning goal in the 40th minute.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have moved into the top four of La Liga, one point clear of Atletico Madrid in fifth, and they now turn their attention to Thursday’s fixture in the Super Cup, a competition that they last competed in back in 2005. Indeed, Real Betis’ only previous appearance in the Super Cup was against Barcelona in a two-legged final, losing the first match 3-0 before winning 2-1 in the second leg but ultimately losing out 4-2 on aggregate.
Betis have struggled in recent meetings with Barca, losing eight of their last 10 encounters against them, although one of their two victories during this run did come last season when Juanmi scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at Camp Nou in December 2021. Barcelona extended their unbeaten run across all competitions to seven matches when they secured a slender 1-0 away victory over Atletico Madrid in La Liga last weekend.
A 22nd-minute strike from Ousmane Dembele helped Barca claim all three points from a game which saw both sides reduced to 10 men, after Ferran Torres and Stefan Savic were dismissed for a bizarre wrestling incident in the closing stages. Nevertheless, Xavi’s side capitalised on Real Madrid’s loss to Villarreal and have extended their lead at the top of La Liga to three points after 16 matches played. Barca will now attempt to lift their first piece of silverware under the tutelage of Xavi when they jet off to Saudi Arabia for the Super Cup, a competition that they have won a record 13 times in its 41-year history.
The Catalan giants have come up short in the last three years, though, with semi-final defeats to Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in 2020 and 2022 respectively sandwiched between a 3-2 extra-time loss in the 2021 final against Athletic Bilbao, which saw Lionel Messi receive his one and only red card in his Barca career for lashing out in the final minute of the match.
Barca will be seeking revenge in the Super Cup and will be confident of success on Thursday having won 15 of their last 18 meetings against Real Betis, scoring at least three goals on 12 of those occasions. Real Betis boss Pellegrini is expected to name a strong starting lineup on Thursday, with Guido Rodriguez and Rodri set to be recalled after beginning on the bench against Rayo Vallecano. However, Los Verdiblancos will have to cope without right-back Youssouf Sabaly, who is out for around a month with an ankle injury, while Paul Akouokou is sidelined with a muscle problem.
Left-back Alex Moreno, meanwhile, has played his last game for the club after completing a permanent move to Unai Emery’s Aston Villa on Wednesday; Juan Miranda is therefore set to start on the left side of defence. As for Barcelona, Torres is suspended after receiving a red card last weekend, but Xavi is able to welcome back Robert Lewandowski and Jordi Alba who both served bans last time out.
Lewandowski is expected to lead the line in attack, which could see Ansu Fati either drop out of the side or switch to the left flank after starting in a central role against Atletico. Alba, meanwhile, is set to replace Alejandro Balde at left-back, joining Andreas Christensen, Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde in the back four. After starting in the front three against Atletico, Pedri could slot back into midfield on Thursday, with fellow academy graduate Gavi at risk of dropping to the substitutes’ bench.
Real Betis and Barcelona go head-to-head at the King Fahd International Stadium in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final on Thursday, January 12th. Can Betis reach the competition’s final at Barcelona’s expense in midweek? Read our free predictions and find the latest odds for the fixture below in our detailed match preview.
Barcelona left some clunky performance behind to beat Atletico 1-0 in Madrid in their last La Liga test and after that significant victory, another could be in the works when they take on Real Betis in Saudi Arabia. With Robert Lewandowski free to play following a ban, Barca’s frontline should have extra potency and with a place in the Super Copa Final up for grabs, we don’t expect the Catalonian giants to slip up against Betis.
Veteran striker Robert Lewandowski returns to the Barcelona XI on Thursday following a short suspension and the lethal finisher is priced generously to get among the goals again in this week’s Super Copa semi-final. Lewandowski has notched a superb 18 goals in 20 appearances in all competitions for Barca this season and the 34-year-old should have opportunities to add to his tally against Betis in midweek.
With two wins, two draws, and two losses in the last six matches in La Liga, Real Betis has clearly been inconsistent lately. Overall, the team is in the fourth place in the standings and they will be fighting for a spot in Champions League, at least if they can do well in the second half of the season as they did in the first. Betis beat Rayo Vallecano 2-1 in their last assignment and they could name a similar XI for two games in a row this week.
Barca still sits at the top of La Liga standings following their excellent 1-0 win at Atletico Madrid on Sunday. On top of that, Real Madrid lost to Villarreal over the weekend, so now Blaugrana has three points more than their fierce rivals in the race for the title. So, things are going pretty well for the team right now.