Friday, August 14, 2020

Prediction: Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 20 Jun 2020

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Verdict: Real Sociedad double chance

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Hoping to continue on their eye-catching return from the enforced break, Los Blancos will make the trip to an empty Reale Arena when they face off against Real Sociedad on Sunday night.

Real Sociedad

Starting with the hosts, while Real Sociedad may have found the mood in their camp at a season-high prior to the interruption back in March, Imanol Alguacil’s men have shown some signs of a struggle since returning to action. Along with having to come from behind to snatch a point off of Osasuna last weekend, La Real were hit with a shock 2-0 defeat away at Alaves on Thursday evening. Suddenly sacrificing their spot in the Champions League positions and now looking to close the deficit, Sociedad have managed to win just one of their last four La Liga appearances either side of the break. However, while Sunday’s hosts might have failed to win back-to-back top-flight outings for the first time since entering 2020, Alguacil’s side have gained plenty of plaudits for their stellar record at the Reale Arena. Booking their spot in the final of this year’s Copa del Rey, the Whites and Blues are unbeaten in their last five La Liga matchups on home soil, collecting 13 points on that glittering purple patch.

Team News

Although Real Madrid loanee and attacking talisman Martin Odegaard may have picked up a minor knock in midweek, Sociedad remains confident that the 21-year-old will be okay to feature this weekend.

However, after being given his marching orders against Alaves on Thursday, they will be without Joseba Zaldua who will begin a suspension.

Real Madrid

As for the visitors, while Real Madrid might still be chasing Barcelona in the race to reclaim the La Liga title, Los Blancos have returned from the enforced break in the midst of a bright run. Putting in a rampant second-half display against Valencia on Wednesday night after early VAR drama, Zinedine Zidane’s men did land a 3-0 win at their temporary new home. Also making their first appearance since the interruption and picking up what turned out to be a routine 3-1 romp against Eibar, the former European champions will now be desperate to find some much-needed stability on the road. Including entering the March break with a shock 2-1 defeat away at Real Betis, the French icon has seen his side lose back-to-back La Liga matches outside of Madrid for the first time since October 2018. If Sunday’s guests are to close the deficit this weekend, then Zidane will be calling on Karim Benzema to lead their charge at the Reale Arena. Bagging a brace against the Bats in midweek, the 32-year-old only sits behind Lionel Messi in the race for the Golden Boot.

Team News

Aside from the quartet of Luka Jovic, Lucas Vazquez, Nacho and Isco, who will once again be unable to feature on Sunday, Los Blancos have no new injury issues entering Sunday’s showdown.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Including picking up a dramatic 4-3 win when the two sides faced off in the Copa del Rey earlier in the year, Sociedad have won three of their last four meetings against the former champions.
  • Real Madrid had previously lost back-to-back La Liga away matches for the first time since October 2018.
  • Sociedad are unbeaten in their last five La Liga matches at the Reale Arena, collecting 13 points on that run.
  • Karim Benzema has scored three top-flight goals in as many appearances either side of the break.
  • Seven of the last eight meetings between the two sides have seen over 2.5 goals by full-time.

Conclusion

Although Los Blancos may have returned from the enforced break enjoying a free-scoring run and looking at Sunday as a golden opportunity, they could be on for a tough test against a Sociedad side looking for a bounce. With this weekend’s hosts continuing to shine on home soil, they might be smelling an upset against a Madrid side who had previously lost back-to-back away fixtures for the first time since October 2018. Also knocking the former champions out of the Copa del Rey prior to the break in what turned out to be a seven-goal thriller in the capital, Imanol Alguacil’s men have won three of their last four meetings against the title chasers. Struggling to find their best in the opening 45 against Valencia on Thursday and helped by a controversial VAR call, don’t be surprised to see an upset at the Reale Arena on Sunday.

Verdict: Real Sociedad double chance

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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