Real Zaragoza will go into Monday’s fixture against Real Betis as slight odds against favourites with Bet365, knowing that a victory over their lower table opponents could have a heavy hand in ultimately saving their season.
Manolo Jiménez’s side find themselves dwindling at the bottom of the Primera Liga but would climb to within seven points of safety if the home side prevail over their Seville-based opposition.
Betis aren’t quite out of the relegation scrap themselves though and will be keen to take advantage of the fixture and register a win over basement side, Zaragoza.
Both sides come into the match with high hopes, having just come away from surprise victories last weekend.
While Betis can be pleased with the three points they came away with against Athletic Bilbao last Friday, Real Zaragoza created an even bigger shock, beating fourth placed Espanyol away from home.
Two second half goals from Paulo da Silva and Juan Carlos were enough to beat Espanyol and striker Helder Postiga has indicated that this win could prove the catalyst for their La Liga survival this season.
Before that fixture, the Blanquillos hadn’t won a league game since October 2011 and will strive to make sure that the result was the start of a fresh vein of form and not just a positive blip in their 2011-12 season.
Providing that several other fixtures go in their favour, Real Betis can ascend to tenth place on Monday and will feel considerably more secure in their chances of top flight survival.
Manager could welcome back Jefferson Montero and Roque Santa Cruz, who have both returned to full fitness and will be pushing for a starting birth.
However, the Béticos would be smart to not look upon Real Zaragoza’s table position and assume that the game is in the bag, as it’s this time of year that the threat of relegation can really spur a team into stern resistance.