i hope robinho recovers for roma game
so we can hav:
just imagine robinho/ on form guti and an injury free robben
i just cant pick for who to start raul or rvn,
i'll go for raul based on last weeks game
that will never happen though because there is no way schuster is going to take off raul or ruud.
After suffering back-to-back defeats, relegation threatened Real Betis could not have asked for a worse time to entertain a rampant Real Madrid side, who are looking for a boost in confidence away from home ahead of their trip to Rome next Tuesday.
Still In Danger
Ever since Paco Chaparro took over the Betis hot seat, replacing the hugely disappointing Héctor Cúper, Los Verdiblancos have made steady progress to climb safely out of the relegation zone. In fact, the 65 year old former reserve team coach had only lost once in seven league games - albeit to bitter city rivals Sevilla - since taking charge in early December.
That, of course, was until two weeks ago when his side crashed to successive defeats, first with an unexpected 0-1 loss at home to fellow strugglers Deportivo La Coruña, and then 3-1 at a resurgent Valencia last Sunday.
Those two slip-ups have sent the Andalucians sprawling back down toward the danger zone with just a single point separating them from the 18th spot cut-off.
Chaparro and his charges cannot afford to put on a sub-par performance for the third week in a row, considering who their opponents are this time. They were woeful in attack against Depor, failing to register even a single shot on target, and even though they showed an overall improvement against Los Ché the following game, they still lacked the pivotal killer instinct in front of goal.
For Saturday’s clash, club captain Juanito has devised a game plan to take down the reigning league champions: counterattacking football. It sounds easy enough in theory but whether or not they can pull it off come crunch time is another story altogether.
More Mayhem From Madrid?
While the morale at the Bético camp is on the decline, the mood at the Bernabéu camp, on the other hand, could not be any higher after their ruthless demolition job against Real Valladolid last week.
But despite the thumping 7-0 riot, Bernd Schuster and his boys must still be feeling the away day jitters in the back of their minds after the shock 2-0 reverse at Almería in their last road game. And a visit to the fiery city of Seville is never a walk in the park for the capital giants.
Another hockey-score victory is highly unlikely as Betis will know the merengues well enough not to tempt fate by playing reckless attacking football and leaving gaping spaces at the back.
It guarantees to be a much trickier day out for El Real, especially with the distractions of a bigger fish to fry come midweek. As such, Schuster will happily trade another goal blitz for a straightforward, no thrills-no frills encounter in order to conserve his players’ energy and more importantly, to avoid any further injury setbacks to his key personnel.
It is extremely crucial psychologically for Madrid to bag a solid result at the Ruiz de Lopera before they take an even more daunting trip to AS Roma’s Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday for the first knockout round of the Champions League.
Feb 10 Valencia vs Real Betis 3-1 (LA LIGA)
Feb 02 Real Betis vs Deportivo La Coruña 0-1 (LA LIGA)
Jan 27 Espanyol vs Real Betis 1-2 (LA LIGA)
Jan 20 Real Betis vs Recreativo Huelva 1-1 (LA LIGA)
Jan 16 Valencia vs Real Betis 2-1 (COPA DEL REY)
Feb 10 Real Madrid vs Real Valladolid 7-0 (LA LIGA)
Feb 02 Almería vs Real Madrid 2-0 (LA LIGA)
Jan 27 Real Madrid vs Villarreal 3-2 (LA LIGA)
Jan 20 Atlético Madrid vs Real Madrid 0-2 (LA LIGA)
Jan 16 Real Madrid vs Mallorca 0-1 (COPA DEL REY)
Defender Melli returns from suspension and will be reinstated in the centre of defence. Argentine striker Mariano Pavone is also back in the squad, having shrugged off the injury that kept him out of the trip to the Mestalla last week. He, too, should slot straight back into the starting XI after training without any problems.
Pacey winger Mark González could make a comeback of his own after recovering from a muscular niggle, although he is not quite match ready to play the full 90 minutes.
Goalkeeper Toni Doblas, defenders David Rivas and Nano, and midfielder Fernando are all still sidelined with various ailments.
Robinho is set to be out for up to two weeks with an abdominal muscle tear, but Ruud van Nistelrooy has shaken off his ankle bruise and will be available for action, although he could be given more time to rest ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash.
Defenders Gabriel Heinze, Sergio Ramos and Miguel Torres have all resumed training on the pitch after shrugging off various degrees of injuries, but Pepe is still nursing a torn calf muscle while Christoph Metzelder is out for up to two months as he begins rehabilitation work after his foot surgery.
Fringe player Javier Saviola remains sidelined with a sprained knee and ankle, as is Wesley Sneijder.
The versatile forward has already notched up seven goals so far this term, four of which came in his last five games. Although he looks set to revert to a midfield role due to Pavone’s return, the Brazilian still poses a huge threat whether as a playmaker or as a goalscorer, especially if the Madrid defence fail to pick him out from deep.
Real Madrid - Guti
As otherworldly as he may have been last week, the temperamental playmaker still struggles with inconsistency. Rarely has he been able to string two match winning displays back to back and that is one of the reasons why he has yet to be regarded as a true world class player. But with his confidence oozing out into the stratosphere, all eyes will be on his performance on Saturday.
If Betis play like many would expect them to - with a tight defence and a compact midfield - then this could be another scrappy, low scoring affair. Schuster and Madrid, for their part, will be prepared for all types of resistance and confrontation and they would have done enough homework to avoid a repeat of the Almería defeat.
i swear i KNEW it. i had to go outside exactly when the game started and just got home now but when i was coming home i KNEW i would check PFDC or goalzz.com to see a narrow win or tie or loss. so im not surprised. plus, every time we have a big win the next game we suck.
why the hell is it that before every single real madrid encounter theres articles about the other team wanting to beat us badly but when barcelona plays the other teams play like its a normal league game. i swear zaragoza better try as hard as betis.