Lewandowski, Barca. hoping to find spark against Real Betis
Robert Lewandowski and Barcelona are aiming to find their spark today against Real Betis, with the Catalans limping towards the LaLiga title.
Xavi Hernandez’s side are 11 points clear at the top of the table, closing in on their first league win since 2019, but have only one victory in their past four games.
Barcelona were beaten 2-1 by RayoVallecano on Wednesday, with Lewandowski ending a run of four games without scoring, but his strike was not enough to help his team take anything home from Madrid.
The forward had a spectacular start to the season and is the division’s top goal-scorer with 18 goals, but only has five in LaLiga in 2023.
“We are in a good position, we now have two home games and we have to try to play well and think about what we need to do to play better in these seven games that we have left,” said Lewandowski after defeat at Vallecas.
“We didn’t have the patience to generate chances and create danger. We need more calm.”
The Polish striker has had fewer chances since the World Cup because of injuries to some key teammates including Ousmane Dembele, who is set to return on Saturday.
The French winger has been sidelined since January with a thigh injury, while midfielder,Pedri, made his return from injury last weekend against Atletico Madrid.
Pedri set up a fine chance for Lewandowski against Rayo early on, but the forward shot too close to Stole Dimitrievski.
“Pedri will improve the team and the forwards,” said Xavi last weekend.
“If Robert had two or three chances, now he will have four or five.”
Lewandowski is four goals ahead of Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema in the race to finish as the “Pichichi” – top scorer in Spain.
However the 34-year-old has the lowest tally of goals for a top scorer at this stage of the season since Madrid’s Ruud van Nistelrooy in the 2006-07 season.
Real Betis arrive at Camp Nou aiming to give Lewandowski another disappointing evening in front of goal, and trying to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League alive.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side, sixth, drew 0-0 with Real Sociedad on Tuesday, staying six points behind the Basque side, current occupants of fourth place.
With Barcelona looking vulnerable, the trip to Camp Nou is a good opportunity for Betis to earn points from a typically difficult away visit. – AFP