Barcelona’s extraordinary unbeaten streak in all competitions came to an end at 29 games (W23, D6, L0) on Wednesday with a 1-0 loss away at neighbours Espanyol in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie.
Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:
To say that Betis have enjoyed a great start to the year would be an understatement. It’s been just pure bliss for the Beticos thanks to a historic 5-3 win over fierce rivals Sevilla at the Pizjuan followed by a 3-2 home win over Leganes. Quique Setien’s side have climbed up to seventh in the LL table and are now just two points behind Sevilla.
Relegation battlers Malaga were the last side to beat Barcelona in LL (8th April 2017). Since then, the Catalan giants have recorded 26 wins and three draws, and are the only unbeaten side left (W16, D3, L0) in Europe’s big five leagues.
Where were you when Betis last defeated Barcelona in LL (3-2, 29th March 2008 )? Yes, it’s been nearly ten years. With that being said, Barcelona have an all-time win percentage of just 42% in their top-flight trips to the Benito Villamarin (Betis 15 wins, 14 draws, Barcelona 21 wins).
Players to watch: Good news for the Betis defence as Aissa Mandi and Zou Feddal are back in the squad for this huge clash after serving a one-match ban.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the world right now. His monster performances have been fundamental to Barca’s domination in LL so far this season.
Stat attack: Just one of Barcelona’s 52 LL goals has been scored from a free-kick this campaign (Messi against Real Sociedad).
Barca have the most clean sheets (12) so far in the 2017/18 LL season.
Betis: J. Campbell (ankle injury), A. Sanabria (knee injury), A. Barragan (doubtful), A. Mandi (doubtful)
Barcelona: M. Cardona (hip injury), O. Dembele (muscle injury), Coutinho (doubtful), A. Iniesta (doubtful), A. Jose (doubtful), J. Mascherano (doubtful), P. Alcacer (doubtful).