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May 13, 2021 at 7pm UK
Real BetisReal Betis
Enrich (83')
Diop (34'), Oliveira (38'), Rober (52')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Guardado (4')
Emerson (65')

Preview: Eibar vs. Real Betis - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Eibar vs. Real Betis - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's La Liga clash between Eibar and Real Betis, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Seeking their third win in as many matches, bottom-of-the-table Eibar welcome La Liga's resident draw specialists Real Betis to the Ipurua Municipal Stadium on Thursday night.

The hosts marched to a 1-0 win over Getafe last time out, whereas Betis' run of stalemates ended with a 2-1 success over Granada on Monday night.

Match preview

With their numerous relegation rivals failing to fire, Eibar are taking full advantage. Jose Luis Mendilibar's side may still occupy 20th spot in the table, but back-to-back wins over Alaves and Getafe have embodied their never-say-die attitude.

Their weekend showdown with Getafe seemed destined to end goalless, but Recio - back from suspension as a substitute - came off the bench to net from the penalty spot in the dying embers of the match to significantly boost Eibar's survival hopes.

Mendilibar's side still sit at the foot of the table, but as things stand, only two points separate them from the safety of 17th spot before this week's fixtures get underway. Huesca and Elche could temporarily increase that gap should they both prevail before Eibar take the pitch, however.

Having witnessed his side claim back-to-back wins for the first time this season, Mendilibar ought to have a renewed sense of belief about his side's chances of avoiding demotion to the Segunda Division, but two daunting fixtures with Valencia and Barcelona lie in wait before Eibar's troubled campaign concludes.

The brilliance of Borja Iglesias single-handedly propelled Betis to a long-awaited triumph over fellow European hopefuls Granada last time out, as the 28-year-old netted twice either side of a Darwin Machis equaliser in a 2-1 triumph for Manuel Pellegrini's side on Monday night.

A run of six consecutive draws before Monday threatened to derail Betis' bid for a continental berth, but Pellegrini's side are firmly back on track and can assure themselves of a top-seven finish with victory at Eibar.

The sixth-placed Verdiblancos are seven points clear of Celta Vigo with only three games left to go - with Villarreal sandwiched in between the two clubs - and no matter what happens in Celta's game with Getafe on Wednesday, three points for Betis at Eibar would confirm their qualification for European competition.

Whether that will be a Europa League or Conference League spot rests on how well they can perform in the final few weeks, but Pellegrini has now overseen just one defeat in Betis' last 13 La Liga matches, while they have navigated their last eight unbeaten.

Eibar did manage to get the better of Betis in a 2-0 success earlier in the season, though, and the visitors travel to the Ipurua Municipal Stadium on a four-game winless run away from home since a 1-0 win at Cadiz on February 28.

Eibar La Liga form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Real Betis La Liga form:
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W

Team News

Eibar are in excellent shape heading into this crunch match, with Alejandro Pozo the only confirmed absentee as he attempts to shake off a hamstring problem.

Centre-back Pedro Bigas made his return to the bench after more than two months out on Sunday, but Mendilibar has no reason to alter his rearguard following successive clean sheets.

Recio could certainly come into contention for a start following his decisive penalty against Getafe, though, with Edu Exposito's spot in the midfield most at risk.

Betis duo Aissa Mandi and Nabil Fekir are both back in the fold after serving suspensions in Monday's win over Granada, and the need for fresh legs could see both men reintroduced to the first XI straight away.

Marc Bartra may drop out of the defence if Mandi is recalled, while a well-rested Fekir could challenge Sergio Canales for a spot behind Iglesias.

Martin Montoya, Dani Martin and Victor Camarasa remain in the Betis treatment room, while Cristian Tello and Diego Lainez could battle for a spot on the left if Joaquin - who turns 40 in July - is deemed in need of a rest.

Eibar possible starting lineup:
Dmitrovic; Correa, Oliveira, Arbilla, Jose Angel; Recio, Diop, Atienza, Gil; Kike Garcia, Enrich

Real Betis possible starting lineup:
Bravo; Emerson, Mandi, Ruiz, Miranda; Rodriguez, Carvalho; Ruibal, Fekir, Tello; Iglesias

We say: Eibar 0-1 Real Betis

Eibar and their new-found defensive resilience could yet be plying their trade in La Liga next season, but Pellegrini's men may just have that touch of added quality which will help get them over the line.

The hosts will not make it easy for Betis, who have flattered to deceive on the road recently, but the visitors could confirm a spot in Europe this week and will not want to pass up that opportunity.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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1 38268467254286
2 38259467283984
3 38247785384779
4 38245953332077
5 3817111059382162
6 381710115050061
7 3815131060441658
8 381411135557-253
9 38137184765-1846
10 381113144642446
11 381111163748-1144
12 381111163658-2244
13 381013155053-343
14 38914154657-1141
15 38911182843-1538
16 38911183657-2138
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8 4619141354342071
9 4618161271502170
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11 461710195355-261
12 461613175662-661
13 46179205757060
14 461418144141060
15 461611194853-559
16 461319145755258
17 46169215261-957
18 46159227281-954
19 461120154553-853
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