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Barca vs Real Betis: Team news, predictions & likely lineups

La Liga By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 25/08/2019

Barcelona will be looking to bounce back from last week's shock defeat to Athletic Bilbao when they welcome Real Betis in their first home game of the 2019-20 La Liga campaign.

Aritz Aduriz scored late on as Barca suffered a 1-0 defeat at San Mames in their league opener, while Betis also lost their first match at home to Real Valladolid.

Team News

​Barcelona are set to be blessed with the return of star man ​Lionel Messi, who is ​in contention to play on Sunday. The Argentine missed the start of the season with a calf injury but could feature this weekend after returning to training on Wednesday for the first time in weeks. 

While Messi's return is hugely positive for Barca, Ernesto Valverde still has other injury concerns. ​Luis Suarez is out with a calf injury he picked up in the season opener, ​Ousmane Dembele is sidelined for five weeks with a hamstring injury and Neto is out with a hand injury.

Real Betis travel to Catalonia with one key absentee, with new signing Borja Iglesias missing out with a sprained ankle. Betis are also without goalkeeper Joel Robles, who is serving a one-match suspension after being sent off eight minutes into their league opener last week.

Head to Head

Last season's 4-3 victory at Camp Nou proved to be the first time that Betis had won an away league game against Barcelona since May 1998.

The Catalan giants got their revenge in the reverse league game last term, however, with Messi scoring a hat-trick in a 4-1 victory in Seville.

Barcelona have only lost one of the last 16 meetings between the two teams, while they have scored at least four goals in six of their last 12 matches against Betis, suggesting that there will be goals this weekend.

Recent Form

Both sides will be vying for victory more than ever, after both losing their opening day fixture. Barcelona needs to instantly recover if they want to retain their La Liga title, with their ​1-0 defeat at Athletic Club seeing the Blaugrana lose for the first time in five games.

Just one place above Sunday's opponents, Real Betis fell to their second consecutive defeat after losing 2-1 to Real Valladolid. The Verdiblancos have a huge task ahead as they aim to come away with a win from the Camp Nou, but it is not impossible as proven last season.

Barcelona possible starting lineup: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Lenglet, Pique, Alba; Busquets, De Jong, Rakitic; Griezmann, Messi, Rafinha

Real Betis possible starting lineup: Martin; Alfonso, Mandi, Bartra, Emerson; Carvalho, Garcia; Tello, Fekir, Joaquin; Moron

Prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Real Betis
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