Real Betis struggling for form in run-up to crucial Celtic Park trip

By Euan Davidson

November 9, 2021

Real Betis beat Celtic 4-3 on the opening game of this year’s Europa League Group G.

The frustration at the time, and ever since, was that it was a game Celtic threw away, as opposed to Real Betis being markedly better. At home, with no Bhoys fans officially in attendance, poor defending and clinical counter-attacking from the Andalusians made the difference.

We came away from that game thinking Betis were good, sure. But very much beatable. And recent form suggests that could very much be the case in a month’s time.

Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

In the last three games, Betis have struggled. A convincing 3-0 loss to Atletico Madrid exposed some frailties in defence [La Liga]. That was compounded by a 4-0 shellacking from Bayer Leverkusen, with Nabil Fekir even getting sent off for bizarre lapse of discipline.

A local derby was a shot at redemption for the struggling Verdiblancos, but it made matters worse. Betis were a man down by half-time, with Guido Rodriguez’s professional foul harshly punished [La Liga]. A goal from Marcos Acuña and a second own goal in as many matches, this time from Hector Bellerin, put the result beyond doubt.

There’s a chance for Betis to build momentum before they face Celtic in a month’s time. Games against Elche, Ferencvaros and Levante are, on paper, three games they should win. They’ll face Xavi’s Barcelona on the 5th of December though, a mere 4 days before they’re in Glasgow’s East End.

Ange shows his class again as Lennoxtown prepares for a busy fortnight

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Ange shows his class again as Lennoxtown prepares for a busy fortnight
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Will Celtic be buoyed by Bayer Leverkusen and Real Betis form?

Let’s be clear; both Bayer Leverkusen and Real Betis are good teams, despite recent form.

We know that all too well. In games against both, we conceded 8 times. Given our stern domestic defending, that’s got to be a frustration.

However, with European football confirmed beyond Christmas, there’s no reason for Celtic not to have a go at Real Betis and Bayer Leverkusen. Given the recent form of both sides, why not?

Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

Betis are conceding cheap goals, largely from crosses. Not only that, their recent disciplinary record has been poor. There are areas to exploit; these players can be wound up, and in Guido Rodriguez’s case, react badly when beaten for pace.

If there’s one thing Celtic’s forwards have, it’s speed.

None of this is to say we should take either team for granted. The games against us showed the folly of that. However, it’s mighty encouraging stuff from our Europa League opponents.

Surely, Ange and his team will realise there’s ways of dishing out some revenge in Group G.

Read more: Ridiculous Celtic transfer rumour recently emerged in Spain; time to put it to bed