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Saturday, March 23

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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi's stunning record vs. Real Betis

Ahead of Sunday's La Liga clash between Real Betis and leaders Barcelona, Sports Mole examines Lionel Messi's stunning goalscoring record against the hosts.
By , Editor | 8d

Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi was back to his brilliant best on Wednesday night as he scored two and assisted two more to fire his side into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is still scoring at an incredible pace of one goal per game on average across all competitions this season, and Real Betis will be the next team in his sights on Sunday.

The La Liga leaders could take another step towards defending their crown with victory at the Estadio Benito Villamarin, although they face a Betis side with lingering aspirations of breaking into the European places.

Betis recorded a famous 4-3 win at Camp Nou in the reverse fixture earlier this season, but to get anything out of Sunday's match they will likely need to subdue the maestro that is Messi.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how the Argentine has fared against this weekend's opponents in the past.



Just as he has done this season, Messi has averaged a goal per game in his 20 previous meetings with Betis across all competitions, in addition to eight assists.

Sixteen of those goals - and all eight assists - have come in league fixtures between the two sides, and November's meeting was the first time that Messi had ever ended up on the losing side in a top-flight encounter.

The Argentine actually only scored once in his first five games against Betis, and has failed to score in half of the 18 La Liga games, but when he does net he more often than not bags a brace.

Indeed, Messi has scored exactly two goals on seven previous occasions against Saturday's opponents, including in both of the last two games.

However, that brace at the Benito Villamarin last season was only the second game he has scored in at that stadium from seven previous visits, so this weekend's venue is by no means his favourite stomping ground.



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2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
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4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
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9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914
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