Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Estadio Benito Villamarin will host Thursday’s football match between Real Betis and Celtic, the two teams who meet for the first time ever in the Europa League. Los Beticos have big ambitions for the 2021/22 Europa League campaign, but this game will be anything but a walk in the park for the Andalusians. Willian Jose has overcome his injury, while both Lainez and Sabaly remain in the recovery room. Summer signing Hector Bellerin is widely expected to start.
The Hoops, on the other hand, are on a quest to regain the Scottish Premiership trophy. Celtic quickly bounced back from the Old Firm Derby defeat to Rangers, with the team beating Ross County 3-0 at the weekend, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry against Real Betis. Since key attacker Odsonne Edouard joined Crystal Palace in the summer transfer window, we are tempted to put our money on los Beticos. The likes of Forrest, Dembele, Furuhashi, Johnston, and Jullien have been struggling with injuries of late.
Highlighted Player (Aissa Mandi):
Aissa Mandi is a product of Reims’ youth school. After playing eight matches for Reims II in the 2009/2010 season, he started playing for the first team in 2010. Mandi made his Reims debut against Le Havre on 20 August, 2010 and he remained at Stade Auguste Delaune until 30 June, 2016, when he decided to join Spanish side Real Betis.
The Algeria international, who was born in Chalons-en-Champagne, France, signed a five-year contract with los Beticos which expires on 30 June, 2021. His main position is centre back, but he is capable of playing as a full back as well. The right-footed defender made his Algeria debut on 5 March, 2014 and he helped the Algerian national team keep a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Slovenia.
Mandi impressed at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but he scored his first goal for Algeria in a 3-3 draw with Ethiopia in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. He represented Algeria at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as well.
Highlighted Team (Celtic):
The Celtic Football Club boasts a proud over 100-year long history which has made The Bhoys a global brand thanks to their unprecedented social awareness that dates to the very beginnings of this Scottish club. Celtic was founded in 1887 with the purpose of alleviating poverty in the immigrant Irish population in the East End of Glasgow by raising money to help their fellow citizens.
The charity legacy continues to this day with Celtic still preserving their charitable traditions through the Celtic FC Foundation. The Celts play their home matches at Celtic Park in front of 60,000 people. One of the two most successful football clubs in Scotland with 47 Scottish League Championship titles to their name, Celtic have a long-standing fierce rivalry with Rangers, with the clubs known as the Old Firm.
European Cup winners from season 1966-67 and runners-up two years later, Celtic have been regular in European competitions since their first appearance in 1962-63. Their other most standout results have been runners-up in the EUFA Cup in 2003 and Intercontinental Cup in 1967.