Man Utd vs Real Betis – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 9th March 2023
As part of our Europa League Predictions, we examine the first leg of the round of 16 tie between Man Utd and Real Betis. Shell-shocked United have had 4 days to process their 7-0 defeat to Liverpool – can they react here? Read on with our Man Utd vs Real Betis prediction.
Man Utd vs Real Betis Match Preview
Understandably, all the talk surrounding Manchester United over the past four days has been on the subject of their horrific second-half capitulation against bitter rivals Liverpool. As shocking as it was visceral in its nature, United’s starting XI of which most if not all of whom should feature tonight will have to rebound quickly and take comfort in the fact that in football, there’s always another game around the corner to rectify matters. Just two short weeks ago, United dispatched a hugely improved Barcelona team 4-3 on aggregate, and are coming into this game on the back of an unbeaten home run which stretches back to their 1-0 home defeat via a contentiously awarded penalty against Real Sociedad.
In defeating Barcelona over two legs, United were able to match their opponents over both legs – particularly in the first leg where they generated the bigger goal threat. On the flip side, there has been a sense of creeping complacency that sometimes went unpunished, sometimes not. Conceding twice to rivals Leeds United at the start of each half in their 2-2 draw could have been categorised as an isolated incident if not for the fact that Leicester outplayed United for much of the first half before United were able to improve significantly after the break. At Elland Road, United were somewhat fortunate to beat Leeds on the balance of play, although it can equally be pointed out that Ten Hag’s men were the better side in the home 2-2 draw. In short, signs of inconsistency within matches were there, and they were ruthlessly exploited by Liverpool and further exacerbated by a complete meltdown from United’s senior players in particular.
Their opponents today, Real Betis, impressively managed to top their group which also featured Roma. In taking four points from the Italians and conceding just four goals in Europa League group C, Manuel Pellegrini’s men have firmly established themselves as one of the better teams in the competition. 16 points is the highest points total from any team in the group stage, although the composition of the group overall with Ludogorets and HJK was perhaps not the strongest when compared with some of the other Europa League groups.
Domestically, Betis were in the midst of a poor run of form which saw them lose five from six in all competitions before a relatively kind group of fixtures yielded three La Liga victories from three matches. An impressive 0-0 draw at home to Real Madrid highlighted their defensive credentials which had been lacking in recent months. We make the distinction because even though Betis conceded 11 goals in five matches prior to the Madrid match, they had conceded just 14 goals in 19 matches. It’s possible that their clean sheet against an attack-minded Real Madrid side could be a one-off, however, they held them to 1.32 xG and five shots on target.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Sabitzer
Will Not Play: Eriksen, Martial, Van de Beek
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Cruz, Fekir
Man Utd vs Real Betis Lineups (Predicted)
Man Utd (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Shaw, Martinez, Varane, Dalot; Fred, Casemiro; Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho; Weghorst
Real Betis (4-2-3-1): Bravo; Miranda, Luiz Felipe, Pezzella, Sabaly; Carvalho, Rodriguez; Perez, Rodri, Canales; Iglesias
We expect this to be something of a cagey affair, with United mindful of opening up too much following such a heavy defeat, and Betis prioritising keeping things tight against a United team who had scored 28 goals in 12 matches before the weekend. We anticipate that United could be nervous early on, which would result in a jittery performance until they’re able to grow into the game.
This match could fall into a pattern similar to the United – Real Sociedad matches. We don’t suggest this merely because Real Betis are another Spanish side, it’s more that when they face the bigger teams domestically and abroad, Betis are adept at limiting their opponents to just a few shots on target and they make life difficult territorially in that they’re capable of being well-organised. In fact, most of the goals Betis concede seem to occur when they’re looking to get on the front foot or chasing the game.
Eventually, we expect that United’s superior quality in the final third will tell and that they’ll emerge with a nervy but hugely important victory as they start to rebuild. Ordinarily, we’d hardly credit one Premier League defeat with such influence on United’s next match, but psychologically that kind of chastening defeat will probably have them playing a more risk-averse brand of football here as they wouldn’t want to risk going a goal down and having the crowd on their backs early on.
Man Utd 1-0 Real Betis
Man Utd vs Real Betis Betting Tip – Under 2.5 Goals Odds:
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