On Wednesday, December 30, FC Barcelona hosts Real Betis Balompie in a Spanish Primera Liga Week 17 fixture. The game will be played at the Camp Nou stadium in the city of Barcelona and will kick off at 19:30 BST.
The home side are currently top of the table, with 35 points from 15 games, while the visitors are in 11th place, with 20 points from 16 games.
A win for the league leaders will see them remain at the top of the standings, while a defeat could see them end the year in 3rd place. A win for the underdogs could see them climb as high as 9th place, while a defeat could see then enter the New Year in 13th place.
The reigning champions, managed by Luis Enrique are in decent form, with two draws and three defeats in their last five games in all competitions. These wins were in the Club World Cup Championship against Guangzhou Evergreen (3-0 on December 17), and in the final against River Plate (0-3 on December 20).
The newly crowned Club World Champions drew three consecutive games at the start of the month. This run of stalemates includes league games against Valencia (1-1 on December 5), and Deportivo La Coruna (2-2 on December 12). They could also only manage a draw in the Champions League against Bayer Leverkusen (1-1 on December 9).
The Green and Whites, managed by Pepe Mel, are in poor form, with one win, three draws and one defeat in their last five games in all competitions. This single win was against Sporting Gijon in the Spanish Cup (2-0 on December 5).
The underdogs have drawn three of their last four games in two competitions. These results were in league games against Celta Vigo (1-1 on December 5), and Sevilla (0-0 on December 19).
They also drew the second leg of their Spanish Cup tie against Sporting Gijon (3-3 on December 15). Their only recent defeat came at the hands of Las Palmas in the league (1-0 on December 12).
The trio of Neymar, Suarez and Lionel Messi have scored a combined 32 league goals amongst themselves this season. If they are in form in this game, it could be a very long night for Pepe Mel’s side. Reuben Castro has eight goals in sixteen league appearances this season, and he will need to convert whatever chances his team fashion out in this game, if they are to leave the Camp Nou with a positive result.
The odds for this game from Bet 365 are 1/20 for a Barcelona win, 16/1 for a draw and 25/1 for a Real Betis win.
This game can really have only one winner. Barcelona to win this game by a comfortable margin.