Real Betis prioritising La Liga over Celtic this week

By John McGinley

September 12, 2021

Real Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini has insisted he will be prioritising La Liga over the Europa League this week as his team prepare to host Celtic on Thursday.

The Bhoys will visit Spain fit and refreshed after a comfortable Saturday win over Ross County in the Scottish Premiership.

Betis, however, have a more gruelling week ahead.

Photo by Denis Doyle – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

They don’t play this round of league matches until tomorrow night away to Granada. With just two points from their opening games, it’s a huge fixture for the club.

The game doesn’t kick-off until 10pm Spanish time. And Pellegrini insists it’s a more important match than Celtic.

As quoted by The Scottish Sun, the Betis boss said: “Make no mistake, the most important game is on Monday, the league cannot be neglected. I think it’s wrong to make us play on a Monday night. Celtic played on the Saturday, so they get an advantage which we didn’t want to give them.

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“The people who organised this need to look at themselves. No one wants to play on a Monday at that time- Tuesday is a working day for the fans.

“We have tried to set up a team that can compete in three competitions. We haven’t started too well in the league in terms of points, but I think we have deserved more points.

“But I repeat, we cannot afford to neglect the league for Europe. We will treat the match against Granada as if it is a final.”

Given Betis also have a big match at home to Espanyol on Sunday, it’s fair to say we could see a weakened team for the fixture against Celtic.

That obviously benefits Ange Postecoglou’s Bhoys, who can’t really afford to do anything but play a full-strength outfit.

Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Thursday has become a big opportunity to kick off the Europa League group stage in a brilliant way.

We know that Ange will set out his team to play the same way as always, so hopefully, we can show aggression and energy that really takes the game to a potentially beleaguered Betis.

It will be tough, but it’s not impossible to pick up a result.

In other news, Stephen Welsh lauds Ange Postecoglou for helping his Celtic development.