Barcelona vs Real Betis: The 2023 Spanish Super Cup starts for FC Barcelona with a match against Real Betis in the Semi-final stage. The tournament will be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with this match planned to take place in King Fahd Stadium.
Barcelona vs Real Betis: Match Details
Date: Sunday, 12th January 2023
Competition: Spanish Super Cup
Venue: King Fahd Stadium (Riyadh)
Time: 20:00 pm Central European Time
Barcelona vs Real Betis: Match Overview
The recently reformatted Spanish Super cup can be a double-edged sword for FC Barcelona. While it presents an opportunity for the club to win some silverware in the middle of the season, and thus boost the morale of their squad and supporters, the tournament also comes amid an already hectic schedule during a season that had to incorporate a winter World Cup in it.
The tournament will see the best 4 teams in Spain from last season compete against each other to further cement their domination over the country’s football horizon.
FC Barcelona arrive into the match following a decisive, yet nervous, victory over one of their direct league rivals, Atletico Madrid. Morale at the club received a further boost through this victory, as the club reclaimed their spot at the top of the table, as the former leaders Real Madrid were defeated by Villareal on the same matchday. Thus, the club comes into the tournament in a blistering form, as they have won 4 and drew 1 of their last five matches.
Barcelona’s rivals in this match, Real Betis, are also having a strong season, as they currently stand 4th in the Spanish league table. However, the club has seen their form and results dwindling in recent matches, as they have won only 2 of their last 5 matches, having drawn two and lost 1 of the other three.
Still, with the likes of Nabil Fekir, Sergio Canales, Joaquin, and other such strong players pulling the strings from the midfield, they can easily pose a significant threat to FC Barcelona’s aims of winning the Spanish Super Cup. Borja Iglesias, with his 8 goals already this season, will also need special attention from FC Barcelona’s backline.
As already mentioned, the Spanish Super Cup comes amid an already hectic schedule, with the club fighting to win as much silverware as it could this season. Thus, one of the mysteries before the game will be the starting line-up that Xavi goes with for this match. It remains to be seen whether he will rest some of his star men to keep them fresh for other, more prestigious, competitions like La Liga and UEFA Europa League, or put his strongest team on the field to ensure the team’s progression to the Final.
Barcelona vs Real Betis: Potential Line-up
Goalkeeper: Marc Andre Ter Stegen
Having sat out the Copa tie against Intercity, Ter Stegen returned to the starting eleven in the match against Atletico Madrid, in which he kept a clean sheet with an incredible performance. It is unlikely that Xavi will rotate the GK position once again, and Ter Stegen will start the match.
Left-back: Jordi Alba
The prolific Spanish fullback was suspended for the tie against Atletico, and his comparatively lesser involvement in Barcelona’s first team throughout the season means he will be fresh for this tie, and thus could make a return to the left-back spot.
Centre-back: Ronald Araujo
Araujo’s return to the starting eleven after his injury certainly stabilized the Barcelona backline in the match against Atletico. He will be starting the match again to keep the Los Verdiblancos attackers in line.
Centre-back: Jules Kounde
While he has played both at the Right and Center back positions of the Barcelona defense, Jules Kounde can be moved to the center for this match.
Right-back: Andreas Christensen
Being an excellent passer of the ball and with exceptional positional awareness, Andreas Christensen when deployed with Ronald Araujo in the center of the defense, not only provides stability but also increases the overall efficiency of the entire system.
CDM: Sergio Busquets
Sergio Busquets has been one of the most relied-upon players in the team by Xavi and is expected to keep his position in the coming match because of his overall importance for the team.
Gavi has made himself a strong contender for a position in the starting eleven with his commendable performances. He is expected to start this match to bring his youthful energy on the field.
CM: Frenkie de Jong
Frenkie will make up the rest of the midfield, and look again to dictate the game from the center of the pitch with his line-breaking passes and defense-splitting runs.
With a 4-3-3 system on paper and Pedri being deployed on the left flank, his responsibility would be helping to create a numerical advantage in the midfield apart from creating chances in the final third of the pitch.
Centre-forward: Robert Lewandowski
Being suspended for three games in La Liga, Robert Lewandowski is almost a sure bet to start in the Spanish Super Cup matches in order to keep him in a match-fit condition and for his lesser accumulated fatigue.
Raphinha can start the first match of the Spanish Super Cup to allow Ousmane Dembele some rest before the final, while his recent performance against Intercity also warrants him another start but Xavi is expected to go with Dembele as he trusts the Frenchman more and considers him a vital piece in his system.
Barcelona vs Real Betis: Expected Line-up
Goalkeeper: Ter Stegen
Defenders: Alba, Kounde, Araujo, Roberto
Midfielders: Frenkie, Busquets, Gavi
Forwards: Pedri, Lewandowski, Dembele