Real Betis - Barcelona Preview: Catalan giants looking to end Liga season on a high

The Catalans travel to the Benito Villamarin on Saturday with Lionel Messi vying to clinch the Pichichi award having scored an unprecedented 50 league goals this season


Chica, Paulao, Dorado, Nacho
Pozuelo, Benat, Canas, Montero
Castro, Santa Cruz


Montoya, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano
Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas
Pedro, Messi, Cuenca

Real Betis forward Roque Santa Cruz has shaken off a knock and is available for the Primera Division encounter with Barcelona.

Captain Iriney and defender Nelson (both ankle) are doubts, while Javier Matilla, Mario and Juanma are all sidelined.

Chechu Dorado, Benat and Jose Canas should all make returns to the starting line-up after missing Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Sporting Gijon due to suspension.

Barcelona duo Gerard Pique and Isaac Cuenca are both fit to play after recovering from concussion and a bruised ankle respectively, but Alexis Sanchez misses out with a thigh injury.

Seydou Keita (calf) is a doubt, while captain Carles Puyol will undergo surgery on Saturday to correct a knee problem, which is expected to rule him out of action for six weeks.

  • Real Betis are on a five-match unbeaten run at the Benito Villamarin since losing 3-2 to Real Madrid.
  • Los Verdiblancos have avoided defeat in their last four home meetings with Barcelona (W2, D2).
  • 12th-placed Betis can finish above bitter rivals Sevilla in the league table if they win on Saturday and Michel's side lose at Espanyol.
  • Barcelona have won their last seven away matches in La Liga since losing 3-2 at Osasuna in February.
  • The Catalans have had more possession than their opponents in all 245 official games since Pep Guardiola became coach in 2008.
  • Lionel Messi (pictured right) has scored 27 goals in his last 14 appearances for Barca.