La Liga: Athletico Madrid vs. Betis

Atlético Madrid missed a great chance last weekend of practically securing their Champions league place next season, by drawing away to Valladolid in a game they should really have own. At the moment they are playing some very irregular football. The league game before last they beat a good Almeria outfit by six goals to three, but before that lost three – nil to Villarreal. Now Racing de Santander are breathing down their necks in fifth spot and just one point behind them, so anything other than a win here and they could be in serious danger or not getting into the top European competition.
Betis meanwhile lost weekend at home to Levante by three goals to nil. This rather surprising defeat leaves Betis pretty much in no man’s land. They are ten points from a UEFA cup spot, which, with just six games to go would seem to be impossible to reach now. The good news is that they are seven points from the relegation zone, which means they are practically safe for another season. Coach Paco Chaparro has done a great job though with this Betis side. He took over when the team was third form bottom and has practically saved the club from relegation for the second time in two seasons. He is now in talks with Betis chiefs regarding his renovation for the next campaign and everything points to him continuing.
I’m opting for a home win here as Atlético do seem to be stronger in front of their home fans. They have lost just four times at home this season which is one of the reasons why they are where they are. Betis seem to be happy with just surviving in the top flight, and after watching them lose to bottom side Levante last weekend, their season seems to be petering out rather quickly.
Prediction: Home win (2-0)

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