Newly-promoted Girona will look to bounce back after defeat last week as they take on Quique Setien’s Real Betis on Friday evening.
20.00 BST, Friday 13th April, Montilivi (Girona, Spain)
The Catalan club have exceeded all expectations this season and they are still very much in with a chance of qualifying for the Europa League, however last week’s 5-0 thumping at the hands of Real Sociedad means they now sit three points outside the top six in eighth place.
Avoiding relegation was undoubtedly Pablo Machin’s main objective this season and having done that – his side can put their all into attempting the unlikely and being one of La Liga’s representatives in Europe next season.
Girona have found difficult of late and against Betis – they will come up against another tough opponent.
Betis themselves are looking at the realistic chance of qualifying for European competition and transformed their early season form into a more consistent string of results.
Setien’s side are in fifth place at present and look set to return to Europe after four years playing domestic football only.
What happened last week?
The home side will be without the services of Carles Planas at left back as he nurses a hamstring problem, whilst there remain doubts over the fitness of Douglas Luiz, who has struggled of late with various problems.
Betis come into the game with a number of small issues, which include Francis Guerrero’s thigh problem and Antonio Sanabria, who has been called up to the squad but has a slight meniscus injury.
Defender Jordi Amat will definately miss the tie through suspension, meaning Mandi is likely to partner Bartra at the back.
Goalkeeper Antonio Adan (groin) and centre back Zouhair Feddal (achilles) are both out for the remainder of the season.
Girona: Bono, Espinosa, Juanpe, Ramalho, Maffeo, Pons, Granell, Mojica, Portu, Garcia, Stuani
Real Betis: Gimenez, Barragan, Mendi, Bartra, Junior Firpo, Garcia, Guardado, Ruiz, Joaquin, Loren, Boudebouz
1-3. Real Betis will prove too strong as their quest for Europe continues and whilst Girona will put up a good fight, Pablo Machin’s defensive issues may haunt him on Friday night.