Real Betis vs Sevilla Preview

Real Betis have recent form on their side heading into Saturday's showdown with city rivals Sevilla.

Football News: Javier Matilla, Real Betis

However, goalkeeper Casto Espinosa insists neither team can be considered favourites for the derby.

After a dismal run that saw them pick up just one point from 10 matches, promoted Betis bounced back in style with successive victories over Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Sporting Gijon either side of Christmas to climb away from the relegation zone.

Pepe Mel's men suffered a setback last weekend when they lost 4-2 at Barcelona, but they were far from humiliated at the Nou Camp where they fought back from 2-0 down to 2-2 - the first goals Barca had conceded at home in any competition since September - before shipping two goals in the final 15 minutes having been reduced to 10 men.

Sevilla, in contrast, have started sliding back down the standings after taking just one point from a possible 12 since their last league triumph at the start of December.

Nevertheless, Casto is well aware of the old adage about form counting for little in derbies, saying: "I don't like to place the tag of favourites on anybody, it's not fair for either team.

"They may have something of an advantage in terms of experience and knowing how to treat these types of games, but with enthusiasm and hard work we are going to counteract all that."

Casto does, however, believe his side are looking good heading into their first derby since 2009, saying: "The team looks phenomenal to me, we're working with humility, we're very focused and eager to do well.

"We've been thinking about this game for quite a long time, it's inevitable that you'd have one eye on this match, even though mentally we've been taking it game by game. We want to make our fans happy. More than us, it's the fans who miss them (the derbies)."

Casto has warned against complacency though, adding: "We need to respect their team. They've been working together for several seasons. It's a team that is difficult to beat and battle-hardened.

"We need to be humble, make sacrifices and not gift anything to a team who without playing brilliant football can create chances."

Sevilla have slipped to seventh following their poor run, but they are only five points off the Champions League spots and winger Jesus Navas believes recent results have not necessarily corresponded with performances.

"I think our attitude is very good and the only thing we're missing is being able to finish off one or two games with victories because we're creating a lot of chances but not having much luck in front of goal. The derby is the ideal moment to fix all that," he told Marca.

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