Every year, the city of Seville highlights a pair of dates on the calendar: those of El Gran Derbi. It is coming up this weekend and the city will come to a halt as Real Betis and Sevilla FC face each other in LaLiga Santander in a game that, as always, promises to be intense, fiery and entertaining. It is one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures every season and all residents of Seville, both Béticos and Sevillistas, will come together to watch the action at the Estadio Benito Villamarín.
On this occasion, El Gran Derbi arrives at a time when these teams are going through quite different situations in LaLiga Santander. On the one hand, Real Betis are enjoying a sweet moment in the standings, comfortably sitting in the Champions League places with 23 points from the 12 matches played so far. Meanwhile, Sevilla FC are in a very different situation as Jorge Sampaoli's side are in the relegation zone and have only managed to pick up 10 points in total since the start of the season. There is, therefore, a significant gap between them right now, a gap that the Béticos will want to widen and one that the Sevillistas are looking to reduce in order to begin a comeback.
Real Betis’ good start to the season can be explained by their impressive play and the stats of some players who are in great form at the moment. Borja Iglesias has eight goals to his name and is the top Spanish scorer in the division, and behind only Robert Lewandowski in the Pichichi Trophy rankings. Manuel Pellegrini's side have scored 16 goals in LaLiga Santander compared to Sevilla FC's 11, even though they have shot less: 98 times compared to Sevilla FC’s 100 shots. However, the Real Betis strikers are displaying clinical finishing.
The goals against stats are where there is the biggest difference between the two teams, explaining the difference in points. Real Betis have let in eight so far, whereas Sevilla FC have conceded 19 goals in the games played so far. Those 19 goals have caused them to draw and lose several games in the first 12 matchdays, with only two victories to their name compared to the seven achieved by Los Verdiblancos.
Sevilla FC come into this duel after losing at home to Rayo Vallecano and with the effect of Sampaoli's arrival dampened a little. Real Betis, on the other hand, have just beaten direct rivals Real Sociedad 2-0 on the road. This weekend, Real Betis are playing at home in El Gran Derbi and can count on the support of their fans as they seek victory.
Whatever happens, the Estadio Benito Villamarín will host a spectacle on the night of November 6th, one of the biggest events in the city. Entire families will be wearing their red and white colours or their green and white stripes, ready to enjoy the football.