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Primera División

  • April 20, 2013
  • • 17:00
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: Alfonso Alvarez Izquierdo
  • • Attendance: 75000
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Real Madrid-Real Betis Preview: Mourinho's side look to maintain momentum ahead of Dortmund clash

Real Madrid-Real Betis Preview: Mourinho's side look to maintain momentum ahead of Dortmund clash

Alex Livesey

Los Merengues will aim to extend their nine-match unbeaten run in La Liga when they host Pepe Mel's outfit at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday


Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso will miss the Primera Division encounter against Real Betis through suspension.

Michael Essien remains sidelined with a muscle strain but Kaka (hamstring), Alvaro Arbeloa (back) and Mesut Ozil (illness) should all return after missing the win over Athletic Bilbao.

Boss Jose Mourinho is, however, bound to rotate his squad with an eye on Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg against Borussia Dortmund.

Real Betis' Nacho suffered a toe fracture in training on Wednesday and is expected to be out of action for 10 days.

Fellow defender Mario is unlikely to feature with a hamstring problem while strikier Nosa Igiebor suffered a muscle injury in the 3-3 draw against Sevilla and is a minor doubt.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Real Madrid are on a seven-match winning run in La Liga at the Santiago Bernabeu.
  • The Castilian side have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven games in the league.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured, right) has scored in his last eight appearances for Madrid in all competitions.
  • Real Betis have won just three of their last 14 matches across all competitions (W3, D6, L5).
  • Los Verdiblancos have lost four of their last five Liga meetings with Real Madrid.
  • Betis' last away win against Madrid was a 1-0 success in October 1998.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
25Diego López RodríguezGoalkeeper
2Ricardo CarvalhoDefender
12MarceloDefender
33Raúl Albiol Defender
18Nacho FernándezDefender
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
16CasemiroMidfielder
7C. RonaldoStriker
7José Callejón Striker
9Karim BenzemaStriker
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
2Raphaël VaraneDefender
3PepeDefender
22Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
8KakáMidfielder
9Gonzalo HiguaínStriker
21MorataStriker
-Adrián San Miguel Del CastilloGoalkeeper
2ChicaDefender
4AmayaDefender
36Álex MartínezDefender
3PaulaoDefender
7BeñatMidfielder
20N. IgieborMidfielder
21José CañasStriker
11Joel CampbellStriker
11D. PabónStriker
24Rubén CastroStriker
13CastoGoalkeeper
-ÁngelDefender
15Damien PerquisDefender
6Rubén PérezMidfielder
7VadilloStriker
-Salva SevillaMidfielder
19Jorge MolinaStriker
Players to Watch
C. Ronaldo
C. Ronaldo
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
30 31 4 1
The Portugal star reached the 50-goal mark for the third straight season in Real Madrid's 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao last Sunday and is on his way to eclipsing last campaign's haul of 60 goals. Ronaldo has found the net in his last eight matches and will be a central figure in the Champions League semi-final clash with Borussia Dortmund in midweek.
Rubén Castro
Rubén Castro
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 24
Games Goals YC RC
25 10 4 0
The 31-year-old forward scored scored his 17th goal of the season in the 3-3 draw with Sevilla and is Real Betis' top scorer in all competitions. Castro will be out to get on the scoresheet again and fire Betis towards the European qualification spots.
Prediction
Madrid will aim to continue their rich vein of form and some of their fringe players will hope to perform well and force themselves into the reckoning for the Dortmund game. Betis are a decent side going forward but their recent away performances, bar the 5-1 win over Andalusian rivals Granada, have been poor.
Editor's Prediction
Betis 0

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