Stakes climb for Barca in La Liga this weekend

Kick-off is at 8pm Estadio Benito Villamarin in Seville, the home of Real Betis since its completion in 1929

Barcelona have no choice but to put the dire situation surrounding Lionel Messi’s contract on the backburner this weekend, as they face Real Betis on Sunday night.

In spite of the controversy, the Catalan giants seem to be having a great streak in La Liga, as they try their very best to catch up and overtake the leaders Atletico Madrid.

Kick-off is at 8pm Estadio Benito Villamarin in Seville, the home of Real Betis since its completion in 1929.

What are the predictions?

Well, the last time they faced off, Messi scored a brace when Barcelona beat Betis 5-2, at the Nou Camp in November, with Antoine Griezmann, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele on target for the hosts.

Is Messi worth it? Opinions differ greatly. Either way, Messi has a point to prove in what may very well be his final months playing in a Barcelona kit. That in itself, arguably makes the forward a potential serious problem for Betis. With odds on Meridianbet such as 2.75 on who will score the first goal and 3.55 on the first goal scored within the first half, the stakes are high.

Los Verdiblancos have thus far conceded 25 goals to the Argentinian over the years, including nine in Messi’s last five appearances against them. In fact, Barcelona only lost one of their last 19 La Liga games against Betis. They have indeed won 15 and drew the other three.

Barca scored 64 goals across, which runs at an average of 3.4 per game, conceding 27 at the other end, at just 1.4 per game. However, both teams have scored in 15 of those marches, to produce an average of 4.8 goals per game.

Betis’ victory in that run was action packed to say the least, with a 4-3 triumph at the Nou Camp.

It’s good to note that given Atletico also have a game in hand over Barca, nothing but a win will do for the away team during this game. That being said, Betis have a fully-fit squad to boost their chances of a result, and Barca will be playing without injured Philippe Coutinho, Gerard Pique and Ansu Fati.

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