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2016-17 La Liga Team Preview: Real Betis

Gus Poyet takes over a growing Betis side

FC Everton v Real Betis - Dynamo Dresden Cup 2016 Photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images

We have asked @Juanma_rbb to take a look at Real Betis’ preseason and give his impressions for the coming football year.

1) What are Betis’ expectations heading into the year?

The objective for this year for Real Betis is to improve last year’s classification spot. The president Haro already said it: the idea is to keep growing. Hence, the goal is to finish the league in ninth place or higher, although we all have it in mind to be back in European competitions and, of course, surpass our classic rival [Sevilla] after so many years.

2) How would you summarise your team’s tactics?

The tactical systems that Poyet has tested the most during this preseason have been 4-3-3 and 5-3-2, with high pressure to try to get the ball back and continuous drives forward by the wing backs, overtaking the wing forwards. I would have to bet on 4-3-3 as the most common tactic.

3) Who are your most influential players?

Dani Ceballos, who has been the outstanding player during the preseason, looks to take a big step forward in his progression this year. Rubén Castro and Adán will stay the most influential with their goals and saves respectively. And, among the signings, the left back Durmisi has stood out due to his contribution in attacks, as well as midfielder Jonas Martin.

4) How has summer transfer business gone for Betis?

Real Betis saw a number of incorporations when the transfer window started. The rapidity, along with avoiding big sales, has been the key in the signings. We have made a big investment and have taken young players but also players who are experienced in important leagues, even being leaders in their former clubs. There are still important lads that need to leave, but we have been able to sell Van der Vaart, something which seemed to be impossible. However, obtaining profit in the sales is still a pending goal for the Verdiblancos whose majority of departures has meant rescision [loans] of contracts. They indeed achieved a good price for Alfred N’Diaye, the only unplanned sale and a key piece last season. He left 8 million euros in the verdiblancos’ bank account.

5) Make one bold prediction for Betis for the coming season.

With the technical staff and squad they have this season, Real Betis should certify the continuation in La Liga several match days before the end and dream about achieving a European spot. I think the “trece barras” [the amount of lines they have in their badge] will finish between sixth and ninth in the league.