Monday, July 23, 2018

Atletico Madrid title hopes could take a hit away to in-form Real Sociedad on Saturday

Crippy Cooke in Editorial, La Liga 4 Nov 2016

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone knows his side can't afford to drop points this weekend.

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone knows his side can’t afford to drop points this weekend.

Atletico Madrid travel to the Anoeta to face Real Sociedad in the Spanish La Liga on Saturday afternoon, in a game that could have big ramifications in the title race.

This weekend’s meeting is far from a foregone conclusion as Atleti have been shaky on the road this season while Sociedad have been formidable on home soil.

And if results go against Diego Simeone’s men, Atletico Madrid could find themselves six points adrift in the title race.

Atletico struggling for consistency on their travels

Atletico Madrid have enjoyed a bright start to the La Liga season, staying in touching distance of the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona in the table but their achilles heel has been playing away from the Vicente Calderon. Diego Simeone’s men have won just two games on the road from five in La Liga, and suffered defeat in their most recent away outing against Sevilla.

Last season, 83% of Atletico Madrid’s defeats came away from home in La Liga, and their chances of a win at the Anoeta are slimmer given how impressive Real Sociedad have been at home this season. Simeone’s side did come unstuck away to their Basque opponents in 2014 but do have a good head-to-head record of five wins from their last six in La Liga.

Real Sociedad much-improved at the Estadio Anoeta

Real Sociedad’s form on home soil was below-par last season, having lost seven times at the Aneota in La Liga. However, the Spaniards have turned things around this campaign under manager Eusebio Sacristán and look a real force in their own backyard. Sociedad have won their last three home games in La Liga, scoring eight goals and conceding just once.

A win for Real Sociedad could see them go within two points of Atletico Madrid this weekend, and given the visitors have won just one away game in the league since September, there’s a real chance of an upset. Sociedad boast goals too and will have noted Atleti have been porous of late by their standards. Eusebio Sacristán’s men have scored nine goals from their last four home games and come up against the Rojiblancos who have conceded four goals in their last three games.


There’s a sense that Atleti are beatable ahead of this weekend’s clash and Real Sociedad are 19/4 to win against Atletico Madrid on Saturday afternoon. Atletico play before leaders Real Madrid this weekend so they could either go joint-top on points with Los Blancos or gift Real the chance to go six clear of their fierce rivals.


Crippy Cooke

Crippy Cooke has somehow written for the Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London24 and Bleacher Report among others, despite knowing less about football than your average Fan TV member . The weekly accumulator enthusiast is saving up his winnings to pay for a much-needed hair transplant but grows more on his chin than his head. He lives and breathes football and somehow makes a living writing from it.



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