Derby Number 105: Betis vs Sevilla
Derby number 105 in the First Division, 140 if all the officials in the different competitions are added, two round numbers, for a match with many attractions and that arrives balanced, at least in theory.
A Clash of Superiority
Betis is currently superior in terms of football, evident from the 20 points they have accumulated in the first twelve days of the league tournament. They hold the sixth position in the league table. On the other hand, Sevilla lags behind with only 11 points, a significant nine-point difference that seems astronomical at this stage of the League.
The Influence of the Venue
This derby is played at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán, the home ground of Sevilla. Historically, playing at home has had a certain significance in equalizing forces. The support from the stands can greatly impact the game. However, in the end, it is the quality of the footballers that usually determines the outcome, and in this aspect, Betis holds an advantage over Sevilla.
A True Miracle
Sevilla may have won their last title, the seventh in the Europa League, not long ago, but many fans believe it was a true miracle. A significant percentage of them attribute this divine apparition to José Luis Mendilibar. However, Mendilibar is no longer in charge of the Sevilla squad, having been replaced by Diego Alonso after a draw against Rayo Vallecano. Sevilla has since accumulated four consecutive draws in the league.
On the other hand, Betis has been under the guidance of Manuel Pellegrini for four seasons. Even when doubts arose at the start of his tenure, the club stood by him, and their faith paid off. Although they did not secure a title last season, they fought until the end to qualify for the Champions League. With Pellegrini, they have already tasted success in the Copa del Rey.
Current Form and Expectations
Currently, Betis has two consecutive wins in the league and a total of five wins if we include the Europa League and Copa del Rey competitions. They have also gone 11 games without losing, showcasing their strong form. In contrast, Sevilla’s recent performances have been lackluster, leading to doubts and pessimism among their fans.
Both teams have faced injury concerns in the goalkeeping department. Claudio Bravo’s recent injury means he will be unable to play until January, leaving Fran Vieites to defend the Betis goal in this derby. Similarly, Sevilla’s goalkeepers Bono and Dmitrovic have been absent in recent matches. The availability of Sergio Ramos and Soumaré for Sevilla is also uncertain.
The Unpredictability of Derbies
When it comes to derbies, anything can happen. The outcome of the match will depend on the performance of the 22 players on the field. As the 105th derby in the First Division, the result remains uncertain. As former coach Vicente Cantatore once said, “In football, it is enough to score one more goal than the rival.” It’s that simple, and if it doesn’t happen, it will be a tie.