The global coronavirus outbreak has not spared the country of Spain, with more than 500 cases of the highly contagious disease confirmed as well as 10 fatalities, as of late Saturday according to a report by The Local. In fact, five people died from the illness in Spain on Friday alone, with another two succumbing to the virus on Saturday. But so far at least, matches in La Liga have not been affected, and Real Madrid will attempt to retake the league lead on Sunday when they face mid-table Real Betis in Seville.
“There are a lot of people telling us what we need to do and we place our trust in those who know about it. That’s all I can say on it,” Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said at a press conference ahead of the match on Saturday, as quoted by Fox Sports.
The manager, who has led the club to three European championships, said that he expected that game cancellations could still take place in Spain.
Real Madrid are coming off of a decisive El Clasico win over arch-rivals Barcelona last weekend, a game that was under consideration for cancellation due to the coronavirus outbreak. Vinícius Junior and Mariano Diaz each netted goals from Real Madrid.
But a Barcelona win over Real Sociedad on Saturday put the Blaugrana back on top by two points — at least for 24 hours.
Zidane’s Saturday press briefing may be viewed in the video below.
With the hosts entering the match in a slump that has seen them winless in seven straight games, Los Blancos enter the match as significant favorites to take the full three points and regain the La Liga lead. According to decimal odds published by Goal.com and provided by Sportsbet, the visitors are favored at 1.72, meaning that a wager equivalent to $1 pays a profit of just 72 cents.
But Los Verdiblancos come in as heavy underdogs at 4.00 — in other words, a $1 bet produces $3 profit in the event of a Real Betis upset victory, for a total payoff of $4. Odds of a draw have been posted at 4.00.
The Madrid side come in with no new injury concerns, with chronically injured striker Eden Hazard missing as expected. Forward Juanmi and midfielders William Carvalho and Diego Lainez are doubtful for Real Betis, though their status will not be determined until gametime.
The Real Betis vs. Real Madrid match is scheduled to kick off at 9 p.m. Central European Standard Time on Sunday, at Estadio Benito Villamarín in Seville. In the United States, where the cable network BeIn Sports will air the game live, as well as provide an online stream for subscribers, kickoff is set to take place at 4 p.m. EDT, 1 p.m. PDT.