Real Betis vs Barcelona

Real Betis away is arguably the most difficult fixture Barcelona have to face before the end of the year.

As erratic as they can be at times, Betis are coming off impressive victories against Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna and are especially strong at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.

For Pepe Mel, it’s a chance to become only the fifth Coach in the club’s history to defeat both Barca and Real Madrid in the course of a season.

The Verdiblancos will also be encouraged by the 2-2 draw they achieved in this fixture last May.

However any hopes they had that the Blaugrana would be without Lionel Messi after his midweek injury scare, may be misplaced.

“Today in the dressing room he was wondering if he could play,” warned teammate Cesc Fabregas. “For us and the world of football it’s a joy that he is well.”

Kick off: Sunday December 9, 8.00 (BST)