Real Madrid will host Betis to the Santiago Bernabeu for the final game of the 2018-19 La Liga campaign.
It was a disappointing season for Real Madrid, which ends today with a home game against Real Betis.
Los Blancos will finish in the third position on La Liga’s table, behind champions Barcelona and cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid. However, despite the outcome of Sunday’s result not affecting Madrid’s final league position, they would like to close the season on a positive note.
Betis, on the other hand, are chasing a top 10 finish, but in order to secure it, they will probably need to score points at Santiago Bernabeu.
All eyes at the Bernabeu will be on whether or not Zinedine Zidane chooses to start Gareth Bale in what many expect to be the Welshman’s final match in the all-white Real Madrid kit.
Captain Sergio Ramos is out of game protocol, as well as Casemiro and Jesus Vallejo, both through suspension.
— Real Madrid C.F.⚽ (@realmadrid) May 18, 2019
Veteran winger Joaquin will miss out for Betis, due to yellow card suspension, after being booked for over-celebrating his 98th-minute winner against Huesca in the previous round.
Former Real Madrid player Sergio Canales is a major doubt for Quique Setien, as an ankle injury may prevent him from making a Santiago Bernabeu return.
What did the managers say
Zinedine Zidane, who returned in charge of Real Madrid after leaving the club at the end of the 2017-18 campaign wants to sign off with a victory.
“Tomorrow’s is the last game of the season and we’ve had a good final week’s work to now go and end the season on a high,” he said via the Real Madrid official website.
“We want to sign off with a good performance and a win in front of our fans. It’s been a tough year and I want to let everyone know that we’re focused on next season and will come back full of hope and put in the hard work so as to make them proud of our players.”
Betis coach Quique Setien says it is a really important game for his side, as Los Verdiblancos are chasing a finish in the top half of the table.
“We have prepared the match thoroughly. We still have some things to talk about tomorrow. We’ve prepared it the same way we have always done,” he said at a press conference.
— Real Betis Balompié (@RealBetis_en) May 18, 2019
“We’ll try to get the best out of the team, that they give their best version, that the players are at their best level. It’s a really important match for us, really important.
“I always tell the player the same. Even more this time, because we could climb one position on the table if we win and leave a good memory of a victory in such an important stadium.”
Real Madrid have won only three games in La Liga since the start of April, noting two draws and three defeats in the process.
Betis are yet to win an away game in the last two months, as Los Verdiblancos four straight defeats on the road since the start of April.
Los Blancos have won only 21 games this season and suffered 11 defeats. They are 20 points behind crowned champions Barcelona.
Madrid won 2-1 in the reverse fixture this season, thanks to an 88-minute free kick from Real Betis graduate Daniel Ceballos.
However, in last year’s game at the Bernabeu Los Verdiblancos noted a 1-0 win through a 94th-minute strike from Antonio Sanabria.