Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace in Real Madrid's 5-1 win over Sporting GijonReuters

Real Madrid will look to keep pace with Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table when they travel to the Benito Villamarin to face Real Betis on 24 January.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 7.30pm. The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 2 HD.

Overview

Struggling Real Betis held Villarreal to a goalless draw at El Madrigal on 16 January, bringing a five-game losing run to a halt. The Seville club are on a 10-match winless run in all competitions, with their last La Liga victory coming against Levante at the end of November.

Midfielder Fabian trained normally on 22 January after suffering a hip injury against Villarreal and is likely to start, but centre-back Heiko Westermann (foot) is a doubt.

New Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has overseen back-to-back home wins against Deportivo La Coruna and Sporting Gijon since taking over from Rafael Benitez. The capital club have won four of their last five games across all competitions, but are on a three-match winless run away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real captain Sergio Ramos has recovered from a muscle problem and is expected to start in Seville, but forward Gareth Bale (calf) is still sidelined.

What managers say

Juan Merino: "We have worked really hard, we're doing a pretty good job and things have turned around from when I joined the team. The Villarreal draw gave us confidence in the fact that, if we get it right, victory is more likely than defeat. Above all we have to try to unsettle Real, to make sure their players don't have a good day, pay attention to the transitions. We have to play an outstanding game in order to win."

Zinedine Zidane: "When I took over this team I knew what I had. It's a fantastic start. Scoring five goals twice is not easy. I know what we can do and what we are going to do in the future. We are only at the beginning, I have high hopes for this team. We want to win games and a trophy at the end of the season."

Form guide

  • Real Betis (all competitions): DLLLL
  • Last result: Villarreal 0-0 Real Betis
  • Real Madrid: WWDWW
  • Last result: Real Madrid 5-1 Sporting Gijon

Betting odds (888sport)

  • Real Betis win: 19/2
  • Draw: 19/4
  • Real Madrid win: 3/10

Team news

Real Betis possible XI: Adan; Piccini, Pezzella, Gonzalez, Vargas; Petros, N'Diaye; Kadir, Fabian, Cejudo; Castro

Real Madrid possible XI: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos, Isco; Rodriguez, Benzema, Ronaldo