Manuel Pellegrini has the task of preparing two major matches against familiar foes in the coming weeks, but he will do so without some of his most trusted lieutenants.
It was revealed this week that Nabil Fekir would miss the rest of the season with anterior cruciate ligament injury. They are also currently without key midfielder Sergio Canales, who was injured against Real Valladolid two weekends ago.
As per El Chiringuito (via Marca), who spoke to Canales, the veteran midfielder will not be available for their crunch tie with Real Madrid on Sunday night. However the Cantabrian playmaker is hoping to be available for their Europa League first leg the following Thursday against Manchester United.
Without either of Canales or Fekir, it leaves a major creative void in the Betis side. It may be that Pellegrini is forced to rely on Joaquin Sanchez more than he would have anticipated, and it will likely see William Carvalho start both games too.