Real Betis hosts Rangers in an exciting Europa League clash at Andalucia on Thursday. Both teams have a chance to win the group and proceed directly to the last 16, but they also face the risk of elimination with Sparta Prague as potential contenders.
In the only group where no team has secured their place in the knockouts, Betis leads but is only a point ahead of Rangers and two ahead of Sparta.
A draw for Betis will secure their progression, capitalizing on their unbeaten run of 14 European home games, making it a strong possibility.
However, a defeat for Betis could mean elimination unless Sparta also fail to win in Cyprus. Pellegrini’s side aims to avoid any mishaps in this crucial fixture.
Rangers, under new boss Philippe Clement, have shown promise, being unbeaten in 13 games. Despite their positive domestic form, a 1-1 draw against Aris on matchday five left their Europa League progression hopes hanging on this final match.
Their away record in Spain isn’t great, having not won in their last 12 trips. But they’ll be eager to secure a result to progress, given their head-to-head record with Sparta may become significant in a tight group.
Betis faces midfield injury woes with Fekir and Carvalho out, while Rodriguez is struggling with an ankle injury and suspended due to bookings. Defensive absences include Bartra and Sabaly, complicating Betis’s defensive setup.
Rangers are missing Lawrence, Jack, Raskin, and Danilo, resulting in a notable absentee list in their midfield and attack. Cifuentes is available despite his domestic suspension.
Real Betis: (4-3-3)
Aitor Ruibal, Pezzella, Juan Miranda, Abner;
Marc Roca, Guardado, Isco;
Diao, Borja Iglesias, Ezzalzouli
Tavernier, Souttar, Balogun, Barisic;
Lundstram, Cifuentes, Cantwell;
McCausland, Dessers, Sima
Prediction: Real Betis 1-0 Rangers
Despite Betis facing significant injury setbacks, their strong home form in Europe might carry them through. Rangers, despite being competitive, may struggle in Spain, and their attention might partly be on other group outcomes.