Thursday, April 25, 2024

Prediction: Real Sociedad vs Mallorca

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 26 Feb 2024

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Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 6/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

Real Sociedad and Mallorca are set to clash in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final at the Reale Arena on Tuesday night, both vying for a spot in the final.

With the first leg ending in a tightly contested 0-0 draw on February 6th, the tie hangs in the balance. However, the two teams have faced each other since then, with Real Sociedad emerging victorious with a 2-1 win in La Liga on February 18th.

Real Sociedad

Real Sociedad, somewhat surprisingly, have only clinched the Copa del Rey trophy on two previous occasions, securing victories in 1987 and 2020, while also making appearances in four other finals.

Their quest for a first-leg advantage in the recent clash at Mallorca early this month ended in a goalless draw, making for a largely uneventful match.

However, Sociedad managed to overcome Mallorca with a 2-1 victory in the league less than two weeks later. This win was a much-needed triumph amidst a disappointing run, as it marked their only victory in the last seven matches across all competitions.

Heading into this match, Imanol Alguacil’s team suffered a 3-1 defeat at home to Villarreal on Friday, which has left them in sixth place in the La Liga table. They are now at risk of missing out on European football for next season.

While Sociedad remain active in the Champions League, their advancement beyond the round of 16 is uncertain, arguably doubtful, even. They suffered a 2-0 defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their last-16 encounter, with the second leg scheduled to take place in Spain on March 5th, making it harder to maintain focus on the task at hand on Tuesday.

Team News

Sociedad will once again be without Alvaro Odriozola, Martin Merquelanz, Aihen Munoz, and Carlos Fernandez.

Furthermore, Aritz Elustondo and Mikel Oyarzabal are facing significant injury uncertainties, with their availability for the Mallorca clash contingent on late fitness assessments.

Ander Barrenetxea, who was substituted early in the Villarreal encounter on Friday, is expected to be sidelined as well. However, there are unlikely to be many alterations from the lineup that suffered the 3-1 defeat, with Mikel Merino potentially replacing Barrenetxea as the only change if Oyarzabal fails to recover in time.

Mallorca

Mallorca, on the other hand, have landed the Copa del Rey trophy just once in their history, claiming victory in the 2002/03 season with a commanding 3-0 win over Recreativo de Huelva in the final.

The Pirates have navigated through Boiro, Valle Egues, Burgos, Tenerife, and Girona to reach the semi-finals of this season’s edition of the Spanish cup competition, with their impressive 3-2 triumph over Girona in the previous round standing out.

Ahead of this match, Javier Aguirre’s squad is coming off a 1-1 draw against Alaves on Saturday. Carlos Benavidez put the Basque outfit in the lead in the 76th minute, only for Matija Nastasic to equalize with just over two minutes left on the clock.

Currently positioned 16th in the La Liga standings, Mallorca hold a six-point buffer above the relegation zone, as they battle to secure their place in the top-flight for the 2024-25 season.

Mallorca have struggled recently against Sociedad, with their last victory over the Basque side dating back to 2012 when they secured a dominant 6-1 win in the Copa del Rey during the 2011/12 competition.

Team News

Pablo Maffeo remains sidelined with a knee injury, but Antonio Raillo and Siebe Van der Heyden are back in contention after serving suspensions and are eligible for selection.

Aguirre is expected to make several changes to the lineup that faced Alaves in the league. Cyle Larin is poised to return to the attacking line alongside Vedat Muriqi.

Giovanni Gonzalez, Dani Rodriguez, Samu Costa, and Jaume Costa are among those likely to be included in the starting XI. However, Sergi Darder is expected to retain his place in midfield.

Conclusion

Real Sociedad’s recent performances have been somewhat concerning, providing Mallorca with an opportunity to capitalize on their struggles come Tuesday. However, despite their downturn, the home team still possess considerable quality.

They should be able to secure victory on the night, resulting in advancement to the final. There, they will face either Athletic Bilbao or Atletico Madrid.

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 6/10

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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