Barcelona go into Matchday 12 of La Liga top of the Primera Division standings, boasting 24 points from 11 matches, three more than city rivals Espanyol, who surprisingly sit second.
Ahead of their weekend match with Real Betis, they have also moved a step closer to the last-16 stage of the Champions League. A 1-1 draw against Inter on Tuesday pushed them to the brink, though Mauro Icardi’s late equaliser ensured they will have to wait until the next round of games to secure a knockout berth.
More immediately, their attention turns back to domestic matters, with a clash against Betis, who have struggled in the formative weeks of the campaign, lying down in 14th with just three wins to their credit. A midweek draw with AC Milan will have boosted their spirits, though.
|Game||Barcelona vs Real Betis|
|Date||Sunday, November 11|
|Time||3:15pm GMT / 10:15am ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|beIN Sports||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on Eleven Sports 1, although it will not be broadcast on television.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||Eleven Sports 1|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Ter Stegen, Cillessen|
|Defenders||Pique, Semedo, Lenglet, Alba, Chumi, Umtiti|
|Midfielders||Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur, Rafinha, Roberto, Vidal, D. Suarez, Alena|
|Forwards||L. Suarez, Malcom, Munir, Messi|
Lionel Messi returns to the starting XI after fracturing his arm, with head coach Ernesto Valverde satisfied that no further harm will come to the Argentine. Malcom, meanwhile, will feature wide due to injury to Philippe Coutinho and illness to Ousmane Dembele.
Confirmed Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suarez, Malcom.
|Position||Real Betis players|
|Defenders||Mandi, Sidnei, Feddal, Gonzalez, Barragan, Firpo, Bartra|
|Midfielders||Boudebouz, Guardado, Garcia, Canales, Guerrero, Inui, Kaptoum, Carvalho, Joaquin, Lo Celso|
|Forwards||Tello, Moron, Gonzalez, Leon, Sanabria, Altamirano|
Real Betis will have a strong squad open to coach Quique Setien ahead of this encounter. Defender Frencis Guerrero is not fit while midfielder Javi Garcia is missing, though he probably would not have had a role to play in this match.
Former Barca player Cristian Tello and Giovani Lo Celso start.
Possible Real Betis XI: Lopez; Mandi, Bartra, Sidnei, Junior; Carvalho, Guardado, Tello; Joaquin, Loren, Lo Celso
Betting & Match Odds
Barcelona start the match as strong 2/11 favourites, according to bet 365 , while a draw is available at 6/1. Real Betis can be backed at 12/1.
Even if Barcelona have faced hardships this season, they find themselves roughly where they want to be as the November international break looms. Qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League is close, while they have established themselves in a healthy position at the top of the Primera Division, notably opening a seven-point gap to ailing rivals Real Madrid.
Mauro Icardi’s late equaliser and an injury to Philippe Coutinho took some of the shine off their midweek trip to Italy, where they drew 1-1 with Inter, but the outlook remains broadly positive, with Lionel Messi expected to return from an arm injury at the weekend. Malcom, meanwhile, may have put to bed some of the rumours over being unsettled with his goal on Tuesday.
Barca have coped well without the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, going undefeated in their five fixtures without the Argentine, including a 5-1 Clasico win over Real Madrid, and winning four in succession until the brakes was put on that run at San Siro.
They will attempt to enhance their position atop Spain’s top flight against Betis on Sunday, with the Seville side fresh from a 1-1 Europa League draw against AC Milan on Thursday at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.
A brilliant move was capped by the opening goal from Giovani Lo Celso, although they were checked by Suso after the break. Nevertheless, they continue to top Group F.
Betis’ style was not in doubt in midweek, but their punch was – a familiar problem for head coach Quique Setien, whose team’s inefficiency has pushed them firmly into the bottom half of the domestic standings.
Such generosity cannot be afforded at Camp Nou, where they have not won a league fixture since 1998.