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LA LIGA | REAL BETIS-VALENCIA

Pressure on at the Villamarín

Betis and Valencia come into the game desperately needing a positive result with both sides winless in LaLiga since November 2015.

Pressure on at the Villamarín
JOSE JORDAN AFP

An afternoon of maximum tension is guaranteed at the Benito Villamarin as the two teams with currently the poorest form in the Spanish Primera division come head to head in Seville (kick off 1600 CET).

Real Betis are in freefall and the last win for the “Verdiblancos” was in November 2015 with a 0-1 against Levante in Valencia. The Andalusian side having the poorest home record in LaLiga with just one victory in 10 games at their Heliopolis ground. The dismissal of former West Brom, Pepe Mel at the club seems to have little impact on the dynamic of the club with interim coach, Merino struggling to stem the team’s poor form with just two points from a possible nine for the former ‘B’ team coach since he was given the challenge of overseeing first team affairs mid- January.

Ahead of today’s game, Merino boldly stated: “We need to see this game as if it were a cup final. We have a decent squad and should not have to worry about the drop”. The coach from La Linea must do without veteran Joaquin and Westermann who is still not fully match fit.

“We need to see this game as if it were a cup final"

Merino (Betis coach)

Valencia come into the game with problems mounting for under pressure coach, Gary Neville. The Copa del Rey 7-0 humiliation at the hands of Barcelona mid-week has just served to add more pressure on the English coach following his indifferent start to club coaching. The 40 year old has struggled to make his mark on a Valencia side that have failed to come to grips with the tactical direction imposed upon them by the former Manchester united defender. Neville is still waiting for his first win in the Spanish top flight and one has to go back to November 7, 2015 to find the last league win for ‘Los Che’ when they flattered to deceive in a 1-5 win in Vigo.

In his pre match press conference coach Neville claimed: "Every game is a must-win game for this club. Whoever the coach is, that's the expectation. We need to show desire. Wednesday night was a bad night for us."

Neville has been hampered with injury problems to his squad since his arrival at the club and today is no exception with Alcaer, Javi Fuego, Enzo Perez and Alves all absent through injury.