With La Liga officially reaching the halfway mark of the 2018-19 campaign this weekend, Real Madrid have a chance to set themselves up for a consolidated push for league leaders Barcelona and the top four.
Los Blancos currently sit two points outside the Champions League qualification spots in the table and 10 off the Catalan club at the summit after a rocky season so far.
But Santiago Solari’s side have shown time and time again throughout the years that it’s never wise to count them out.
They travel to fellow European place chasers Real Betis, who are hot on their heels, looking to bounce back from their last league defeat against Real Sociedad – so can they avoid consecutive losses for the second time since September?
|Game||Real Betis vs Real Madrid|
|Date||Sunday, January 13|
|Time||7:45pm GMT / 2:45pm ET|
|Stream (US)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
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|
|N/A||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be streamed via Eleven Sports 1.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||Eleven Sports 1|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Real Betis squad|
|Defenders||Mandi, Bartra, Feddal, Guerrero, Barragan|
|Midfielders||Carvalho, Canales, Lo Celso, Guardado, Joaquin, Boudebouz, Javi Garcia|
|Forwards||Sanabria, Tello, Inui, Moron, Leon, Lainez|
Real Betis staring XI Pau López; Barragán, Mandi, Bartra, Francis; William, Guardado, Canales, Lo Celso; Joaquín y Sanabria..
|Position||Real Madrid squad|
|Goalkeepers||Casilla, Navas, Luca|
|Defenders||Ramos, Carvajal, Nacho, Varane, Marcelo, Reguilon, Odriozola, Vallejo|
|Midfielders||Modric, Valverde, Casemiro, Isco, Ceballos|
|Forwards||Benzema, Brahim, Vinicius Jr., Cristo|
Real Madrid starting XI: Keylor Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Nacho, Reguilón; Casemiro, Valverde, Modric; Benzema, Vinicius.
Betting & Match Odds
Real Madrid are favourites to pick up the three points and can be backed at 11/10 with bet365 . Real Betis are priced at 9/4 while a draw is 14/5.
Real Madrid may be Club World Cup champions after their victory over Al Ain in December – but Los Blancos’ return to action since the winter break has produced mixed results.
They were unexpectedly downed 2-0 by Real Sociedad in La Liga before bouncing back to hand a 3-0 hiding to Leganes in the Copa del Rey.
They will be looking to carry that momentum back over to the league as they attempt to haul themselves into title contention again – or at the very least, challenge for a top four spot.
Santiago Solari’s position isn’t strictly assured at the club and the coach will be keen to throw down a gauntlet to his challengers reminding them of what he is capable of.
However, he will be forced to do so without a number of key stars, with several of Madrid’s best and brightest sidelined for the next few weeks.
Gareth Bale, Marcos Llorente, Thibaut Courtois, Toni Kroos and Asensio are among those who are unable to feature for the trip to face Real Betis at Estadio Benito Villamarin.
Quique Setien’s side are blessed with virtually a clean bill of health in contrast but come into the game on the back of a humiliating 2-1 loss to Huesca.
That result meant that the hosts were unable to close the gap on their visitors ahead of this clash – but having already toppled Barca this season, they will be hopeful of delivering another key upset.