Barcelona travel to Real Betis on Sunday hoping to close the gap on Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.
Quique Setien has had a mixed start to his reign as Barca boss, having already lost away at Valencia and been knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao in the week.
Betis, who are Setien’s former club, are marooned in mid-table (as is often the case) after an indifferent season so far and will be looking to exact revenge after a heavy defeat to Barca earlier this season.
Real Betis vs Barcelona key details, TV info and live streaming:
Competition: La Liga
Venue: Benito Villamarin Stadium
Date: Sunday, 9 February 2020
Kick-off: 8:00 PM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): N/A
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Last five meetings: Real Betis vs Barcelona
Bold date: Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis (La Liga)
Bold date: Real Betis 1-4 Barcelona (La Liga)
Bold date: Barcelona 3-4 Real Betis (La Liga)
Bold date: Real Betis 0-5 Barcelona (La Liga)
Bold date: Barcelona 2-0 Real Betis (La Liga)
Aggregate Score: Real Betis (LLWLL) 7-19 Barcelona (WWLWW)
Ones to watch
Real Betis: Loren Moron
Reports from Marca suggest Loren is current a target for Barcelona, who – in view of the serious injury suffered by Ousmane Dembele after deadline day – may try to take advantage of a supposed ’emergency’ signing policy allowing them to recruit from within La Liga.
However likely the Spanish top flight are to allow this, Moron has led the line for Betis this season and the rumoured interest from Barca, although not expected, could create added incentive.
Key stat: Loren is Betis’ top scorer in La Liga this season, with eight goals.
Barcelona: Ansu Fati
The 17-year-old has stolen the headlines for Barcelona this season and rightly so. Long-term injuries to Suarez and Dembele will mean that the youngster gets significantly more game time in Barca’s front three. He’s started their last three games and scored a match-winning brace against Levante in their last league game. This boy is special.
Key stat: Fati is Barcelona’s youngest ever league goalscorer (16 years, 10 months).
Andres Guardado went off injured against Getafe with a muscle injury a few weeks ago and will miss this clash. William Carvalho and Juanmi remain long-term absentees.
Confirmed XI: Robles; Emerson, Mandi, Bartra, Moreno; William Carvalho, Gonzalez; Fekir, Canales, Alena; Iglesias
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Suarez and Dembele both have serious injuries and will miss the rest of the season. Pique is suspended, so the knock he picked up against Bilbao will not affect his involvement in this game.
Confirmed XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Umtiti, Lenglet, Junior; De Jong, Busquets, Rakitic, Vidal, Roberto; Messi, Griezmann.
Barcelona are beginning to stutter, so will need to put their struggles aside if they are to beat a resolute Betis side. The home team have less to play for – they currently look relatively safe in mid-table – so Barca’s will to win should push them over the line. Expect goals.