EL GRAN DERBI – Real Betis Vs Sevilla : The Earliest Seville Derby Since ‎1987/88

EL GRAN DERBI – Real Betis Vs Sevilla : The Earliest Seville Derby Since ‎1987/88

The 2018/19 season may only have ‎reached Matchday 3 but it’s already time for one of the
LaLiga Santander’s blockbuster fixtures.

Real Betis and Sevilla FC will ‎meet this Sunday evening (20:45 CEST) at Betis’ Benito ‎Villamarín Stadium for the first Seville derby of the new
season. This will be the earliest these two teams have met ‎in a LaLiga‎ Santander season since they faced off over 30 years ago on ‎the opening weekend of the 1987/88 campaign.

This makes an already spicy ‎derby even more mouth-watering, as the result could set the
tone for the rest of the season.

Both teams’ squads are ‎still getting used to playing with each other, but there’s ‎no such ‎thing as a dress rehearsal when it comes to ‘El Gran ‎Derbi.’ This derby match means everything to the fans, ‎who’ll demand, as always, that their heroes approach it ‎like a cup final.

Real Betis, nicknamed Los ‎Verdiblancos (‘The Green and Whites’), finished ‎above their city rivals last year in sixth while Sevilla, ‎who also go by the name of ‎Los Rojiblancos (‘The Red and Whites’), finished ‎in seventh. Sevilla will be desperate to earn a first derby ‎victory since February 2017, especially after Betis’ ‎stunning 5-3 away win at the Sanchez-Pizjuan in January.

El Gran Derbi sets to the ‎tone for the season ‎at this early stage in the ‎season, it’s too soon to know exactly what these club ‎ will be competing for come May. It is more than likely,
though, that they’ll both be in the mix for European ‎qualification.

Both ‎have had busy summers in terms of player acquisition and ‎there is an expectation amongst fans of both sides that ‎their teams are more than good enough to secure a European ‎spot once again.

Betis will need a positive ‎result to start their campaign off on the right foot.

They’re yet to score this season despite racking up an ‎average of 72.3% possession in their opening two games, and‎ were punished ‎on the counter attack in the home opener against Levante ‎before picking up a goalless draw at Alaves on Matchday 2.

Sevilla’s start has been more ‎positive, winning 4-1 away at LaLiga Santander new boys Rayo
Vallecano before a playing out a goalless draw with fellow‎ European contenders Villarreal.

Pablo Machin’s side have ‎been ‎in Europa League qualification action since late July and
their fitness levels are at a mid-season level. That said,‎ there’ll be no complacency ahead of a game as important as‎ this one.

New faces, same old ‎rivalry‎ One position to keep an eye on‎ this Sunday is goalkeeper as both clubs signed new starting ‎shot-stoppers over the summer. Antonio Adan and Sergio Rico ‎last season’s first-choice keepers, have moved on.

Betis ‎now how have Pau Lopez between the sticks, while Sevilla‎ brought in Czech international Tomáš Vaclík.‎

Betis’ summer signing Takashi‎ Inui could also be important as the Japanese winger’s ‎dribbling ability provides them with a more direct option in ‎attack, while new Sevilla striker André Silva will surely ‎trouble‎ the Betis defence. Silva scored a hat-trick on his LaLiga ‎debut at Rayo Vallecano and he’ll be looking to make this
a similarly happy away trip.

Seville, a city ‎divided by ‎El Gran Derbi is so important to‎ Seville because the city is, curiously, split right down the ‎middle.

Unlike in many other cities in Spain and across
Europe, the two clubs boast a similar sized support, s‎omething‎ that only increases the stakes and, of course, the decibel
levels!

Both clubs have been in ‎existence for over a century, making this one of the ‎longest-running rivalries in football. Officially the first ‎derby took place in 1915, with Betis winning 1-0 thanks to a ‎goal from Alberto ‎Henke. The derby was already considered such a big deal ‎that the victors paraded through the city centre with the
trophy they’d been awarded. Unofficially,
though, these ‎two clubs have been at loggerheads even longer and an‎ earlier incarnation of ‎Betis first ‎took on Sevilla on Valentine’s Day, 1909. It may have‎ been a day of love, but there has never been any love lost‎ between these two clubs since then.

Though there is resentment ‎between the two fanbases, there is also a good-natured and
humorous side to this rivalry. Jokes, arguments and pranks ‎have always been part of the derby and the moment two ‎Betis-supporting
builders emblazoned the Betis badge onto Sevilla’s ‎stadium during construction works will live long in the ‎memory of fans.

From Seville to the‎ world ‎On an international level, the‎ profile of the derby is growing day by day. Sevilla have won ‎five Europa League titles since the turn of the century ‎while Betis have rolled out an exciting possession-based wstyle ‎of football under coach Quique Setien, piquing the ‎interests of football purists both at home and abroad. With ‎official supporter groups stretching from Scotland to New ‎York City, these clubs continue to grow in stature every‎day.

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