Bravo supported the Verdiblancos in the first leg, avoiding greater evils, and Rui Silva defended Pellegrini’s team in Frankfurt, hungry for the UEL quarterfinals
A Real Betis reinforced in its concepts after its victory against Athletic (1-0) faces this Thursday in Frankfurt the difficult challenge of turning around the knockout round of the Europa League against an Eintracht on the rise, with two consecutive wins in the Bundesliga, and overcome the 1-2 that the Germans achieved in the first leg at Villamarín.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men have no margin to establish priorities between the three competitions in which they are still immersed because the Chilean will not let them and has instilled in his players the imperative to play each game as if it were the last, a spirit of final or to achieve the three points with which Betis will jump to Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park. The Verdiblancos arrive reinforced in their idea and possibilities after beating Athlétic at Villamarín and, with this, having dispelled possible unknowns about the bottom of the squad at this decisive stage of the season, in which tomorrow’s game seems key to the aspirations, self-esteem and economy of the heliopolitan entity.
Manuel Pellegrini faces the duel against Eintracht with the discharge of right-back Héctor Bellerín, a relief for the plague of injuries on the sides that Betis has had in recent games, which has caused the Catalan winger to miss the first leg against the Germans and the league duels against Atlético de Madrid and Athletic. The Portuguese Rui Silva will have continuity in goal, who returned to the starting lineup against the Bilbao team after a series by Chilean Claudio Bravo and who appeared this Wednesday with Pellegrini, announcing that he will be one of the starting eleven.
Much of the responsibility for the Verdiblanco defensive balance will fall on the Argentinian Guido Rodríguez, in which his natural replacement, the emerging Ivorian Paul Akouokou, will not be able to play in Germany because he is not registered in the European competition. The middle of Sáenz Peña and the Portuguese William Carvalho will be the engine of the Betis machine room behind the line of three in which Sergio Canales appear as fixed despite the inconvenience that drags on a finger and the Frenchman Nabil Fekir, who will not be able to be on Sunday against Celta due to his expulsion against the Basque team.
Injuries have reduced Pellegrini’s margin of decision, who, together with Álex Moreno on the left side, has absences due to muscle problems in the central zone and from above the Mexican Andrés Guardado and the winger Cristian Tello, who could no longer be against Athletic Bilbao. In the axis of the attack, Pellegrini could give the starting coat to the Brazilian Willian José da Silva for Borja Iglesias and continuity, as usual in Europe, to captain Joaquín Sánchez, with the options of Juanmi Jiménez, Aitor Ruibal in a more defensive key or Rodrigo Sanchez ‘Rodri’.
Eintracht, meanwhile, enter the match still having the flavor of the first leg victory that many described as bittersweet. Without a doubt, getting to play the home second leg of a European tie after an away win in the first leg is a good starting point. However, at Eintracht there is a feeling that the first leg would have given them more and that only their own mistakes mean that the tie is still open. Oliver Glasner’s team is coming off a 2-1 defeat of Bochum in a match that began with exactly the same starting eleven that had taken the field in the victory against Betis.
Eintracht Frankfurt: trap; Tuta, Hinteregger, Ndicka; Knauff, Jakic, Cerda, Kostic; Lindtröm, Kamada and Santos Borré.
Real Betis: Rui Silva; Bellerin or Sabaly, Pezzella, Edgar or Bartra, Miranda or Sabaly; Guido Rodriguez, William Carvalho; Canales or Aitor Ruibal, Fekir, Joaquín or Juanmi; and William Jose.
Referee: Michael Oliver (English).
Stadium: Deutsche Bank Park.
Time and TV: 9:00 p.m. (M+Champions League 1).