The first Bético I met this morning reacted with gloom to the news that Sevilla won their own quarter-final second leg 4-0 last night and await today's winners in the semis. "I hope we don't get through," he said, "because we'll just lose to them and reflotar [refloat, or perhaps kickstart] their season."
That may not be a majority view in the green-and-white half of Seville, but I'm sure he won't be alone. Certainly a temporary pall of pessimism seems to have descended on Heliópolis, to such an extent that Pepe Mel complained yesterday that it was like "being in the café of a mortuary". The 2-0 deficit, the tired 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend, the injury crisis that has left him with just 15 fit first-teamers - all are contributing to a suspicion that tonight's task is almost certainly beyond Betis, and even it isn't, another game against Sevilla next week is probably the last thing we need.
But let's look on the bright side for a moment or two. In the quarter-final against Barcelona this time two years ago, Betis were two-up within eight minutes - and at one stage looked to be in with a shout of overturning a five-goal deficit, so there's no real reason why 2-0 should be irreversible, especially as Atlético are without the injured Falcao and Spanish international right-back Juanfran. Overall, Betis are still a team in form and with the backing of a raucous crowd (albeit not a huge one, as almost everyone I know is struggling to make the 8pm kick-off time) they're definitely not without hope. Guillermo Molins is likely to make his debut, probably as a substitute.
That's really all I've got time for this morning, so fingers crossed we can at least make a game of it. And a derbi semi this time next week? Well, stranger things have happened.