It's become a bit of a cliché to say this, but March 2012 is going to be a crucial month in the history of Real Betis Balompié. (See the "Upcoming games" box on the right-hand side.) With five games in 21 days, including one against the biggest football club in the world and another against the most likely candidate for the third relegation slot, this period could make or break the season. If Pepe Mel's side could squeak 10 points they'd be almost home and dry; five or fewer and April will start looking very dicey.
The good news is that the team is settled and playing pretty well. Fully two days ahead of their next fixture (away at Levante on Monday evening), we can be fairly certain of the team - Fabricio; Nelson, Paulao, Dorado, Nacho; Iriney, Beñat, Salva Sevilla; Rubén Castro, Jorge Molina, Jefferson Montero - and Pepe Mel is relaxed enough to have been able to send Pozuelo and Sergio Rodríguez back down to Betis B. There is a slight chance that Montero will not quite have recovered from his midweek transatlantic trip to Ecuador - where the new, improved Jeff starred for his national team - but that would just mean a rare, well deserved start for Jony Pereira.
While waiting for Monday to come around, we'll just have to get our kicks watching the results come in from elsewhere. With Zaragoza already certain to go down, and Sporting Gijón making a strong bid to join them, we could probably do with Racing and Mallorca getting beaten today, and Granada tomorrow. Oh, and who out there isn't a secret Atleti fan? Enjoy the rest of the weekend.