Our prediction for this Primera Division match:
After holding Real Sociedad to a goalless draw at Reale Arena, Real Betis will be aiming to record their sixth home win of the process when they face Girona on Thursday evening. Fit-again midfielder William Carvalho is widely expected to return to the starting XI, while all Guido Rodriguez, Claudio Bravo, Youssouf Sabaly, and Marca Bartra remain on the sidelines with injuries, while the midweek clash comes too early for Nabil Fekir.
The Catalan outfit, on the other hand, are enjoying a season to remember, with the team being in a two-horse race with star-studded Real Madrid. Girona outplayed Barcelona 4-2 in their last away game, but seeing that Real Betis are tough to beat at home, the share of spoils is on the horizon this time out. The good news for the away team is that experienced striker Cristhian Stuani is back from suspension.
Highlighted Player (Willian José):
Well-travelled Brazilian international Willian Jose was born in Porto Calvo and made his first football steps at a local Clube de Regatas. It was at the age of 17 that he was snapped by Gremio Barueri where he made 26 league appearances and scored six goal in his first – and only – senior season at the club.
In 2011, Willian Jose moved to Deportivo Maldonado but his five-year stint with the Uruguay outfit was marked by no less than seven different loan spells, one of which was to La Liga heavyweights Real Madrid. Standing at 186cm tall, Willian Jose is a notable presence in the box. This powerful centre forward will use his physicality to hold up ball and bring his teammates into play.
The Brazilian international did well to make a name for himself in Spain by playing for Zaragoza and Las Palmas, respectively, before he sealed a permanent move to Real Sociedad in 2016. A member of both FIFA U-20 World Cup and South American Youth Championship winning sides with Brazil in 2011, Willian Jose has not been given a chance to prove his worth at the senior level with Selecao.
Highlighted Team (Girona):
After several unsuccessful attempts, finally secured promotion to Primera Division at the end of the 2016/2017 season. The Catalan outfit finished the campaign in second place in the standings, 14 points behind Levante and only two clear of third-placed Getafe. Girona play their home games at Montilivi and the capacity of the venue is 9.286.
Speaking of the club history, Girona were founded in the café Norat in La Rambla of Girona on July 23, 1930 and they played their first official game against Colonia Artigas. A number of Spanish coaches were in charge of the team in the past, but it has to be noted that Uruguayan tactician Dagoberto Moll (1965/1966) and Karoly Plattko (1948/1949) of Hungary were in charge of the club as well.
The Catalan team wear white shirts with red stripes when playing at home, while the colour of their shorts is blue. The team’s away kits are blue and black and Sporting Gijon are considered one of Girona’s fiercest rivals.