Girona vs Real Betis: Preview and Prediction

Girona will aim to keep the faint La Liga title hopes alive when they welcome Real Betis to Estadi Montilivi on Sunday.

The 2023/24 La Liga season has resumed this week after the international break with Matchday 30. The latest round of fixtures will continue on Sunday with four matches, with the second game having Girona hosting Real Betis at Estadi Montilivi.

Girona took everyone by surprise in the first half of the 2023/24 season, spending most of that period in the top two positions in La Liga. The only time they were outside the top four was after Matchday 1, having played a 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad.

However, the White and Reds have gone from being one of the shock contenders for the title to looking over their shoulders in the last few weeks, losing four of their last seven La Liga games. That run has dropped them from first to third in the standings, with fifth-placed Atletico Madrid seven points behind.

Recent weeks have also not brought good news for Real Betis, as they come into this game on the back of three successive defeats in La Liga. Like Girona, they have won only two of their last seven games, although the run of results has taken them from eighth to seventh. But qualifying for the UEFA Champions League is practically out of the question.

The reverse fixture saw Real Betis coming from a goal down to hold Girona to a 1-1 draw, with German Pezzella scoring the equaliser. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics


Michel has many pressing concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Real Betis on Sunday, the Girona manager might be bereft of the services of as many as nine first-team players.

Savio is the latest absentee, as he serves a suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards. The Brazilian whizkid has joined Miguel Gutierrez, Toni Villa, Joel Roca, and Ricard Artero on the sidelines. In addition, Borja Garcia, Yangel Herrera, David Lopez, and Viktor Tsyhankov are doubts heading into Sunday’s fixture.

Paulo Gazzaniga should take his spot between the sticks, with Girona lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Real Betis. The backline should feature Yan Couto, Eric Garcia, Juanpe, and Daley Blind.

As for the midfield unit, Aleix Garcia will look to pull the strings from the middle of the park, with Ivan Martin being his partner in the double pivot. Pablo Torre should reprise the no. 10 role, with Cristhian Stuani and Portu being the two wide attackers. Finally, Artem Dovbyk should lead the line for Girona on Sunday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga; Couto, Eric Garcia, Juanpe, Blind; Martin, Aleix Garcia; Portu, Torre, Stuani; Dovbyk

Real Betis

Like his counterpart in the Girona dugout, Manuel Pellegrini has a few issues to deal with ahead of the trip to Estadi Montilivi. The Real Betis manager will be without as many as five first-team players on Sunday.

Marc Bartra, Youssouf Sabaly, and Marc Roca will not feature this weekend as they remain on the sidelines. In addition, Pellegrini is sweating over the fitness of Hector Bellerin and Cedric Bakambu.

Real Betis should line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Girona, with Rui Silva being the automatic pick between the sticks. The backline will likely consist of Aitor Ruibal, German Pezzella, Chadi Riad, and Juan Miranda.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Guido Rodriguez and William Carvalho in the double pivot. Isco will pull the strings in the final third as he reprises the no. 10 role, with Nabil Fekir and Pablo Fornals supporting him in the advanced positions. Willian Jose should spearhead the Real Betis attack against Girona on Sunday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Silva; Ruibal, Pezzella, Riad, Miranda; Rodriguez, Carvalho; Fornals, Isco, Fekir; Willian Jose

Key Stats

  • Girona have not won any of their seven meetings with Real Betis in La Liga (D2 L5). Only against Real Sociedad have they played more often without winning a game (P8 D6 L2).
  • Real Betis have won all three away games against Girona in La Liga, the only opponent against whom they have a perfect record in the first three visits.
  • Girona have only won two of their 17 meetings with Real Betis in all competitions (D2 L13).
  • Girona have suffered four defeats in their last six La Liga games, as many as in their previous 31 matches in the competition (W20 D7 L4).
  • Real Betis have lost their three most recent games in La Liga. They last lost four successive matches in the competition between March and April 2014 under Gabriel Humberto Calderon (L6).

Player to Watch

Eric Garcia

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Artem Dovbyk and Willian Jose were potential candidates for the section. But we have gone ahead with Eric Garcia as our Player to Watch for Sunday’s game between Girona and Real Betis due to the home side’s vulnerabilities at the back.

That brings the Barcelona loanee into the equation. With the Spaniard eager to secure his future amid the Catalan club’s readiness to sell him, game-changing performances at the back can help Garcia turn his fortunes around and attract a UEFA Champions League club in the summer.


Girona 2-1 Real Betis

The head-to-head record heavily favours Real Betis, with Girona yet to beat Los Verdiblancos in La Liga. In addition, Sunday’s visitors have won all three away league games against Girona in the top flight. So, the White and Reds can overturn two records this weekend.

With Real Betis hitting a rut heading into the international break, the hosts might feel the Verdiblancos are ripe for the taking. But we predict a closely contested affair that can go either way due to both teams’ defensive vulnerabilities. In the end, Girona might have enough quality to eke out a narrow 2-1 win on Sunday.

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