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Preview: Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid, including team news and predicted lineups.

Real Madrid will be looking to start their La Liga title defence with a win when they travel to San Sebastian to face Real Sociedad on Sunday night.

Los Blancos finished five points clear of second-place Barcelona last season to win the title, while Sociedad, who started their 2020-21 season with a draw at Real Valladolid last weekend, ended the campaign in sixth, securing a spot in the group stage of the Europa League.


Match preview

Real Sociedad's Mikel Oyarzabal celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on December 14, 2019© Reuters

Sixteen wins, eight draws and 14 defeats from their 38 La Liga matches last season brought Sociedad 56 points, which was enough for sixth position and a spot in the group stage of the Europa League.

The Basque outfit were some way from a top-four finish, though, ending the season 14 points behind Sevilla, who made up the Champions League positions with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Imanol Alguacil's side have had a relatively quiet transfer window, but they won the race to sign experienced midfielder David Silva from Manchester City, and the 34-year-old should make his debut in this match.

Sociedad, as mentioned, started their 2020-21 campaign last weekend and were held to a 1-1 draw by Valladolid, with Roberto Lopez levelling the scores in the second period.

La Real have actually triumphed in two of their last four league games against Madrid, but Zinedine Zidane's side ran out 2-1 winners when they last locked horns in Spain's top flight after the lockdown period.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane pictured on August 7, 2020© Reuters

The financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic has prevented Madrid from making any major signings during this summer's transfer window, meaning that they will be relying on the bulk of their squad from last season.

Martin Odegaard, who impressed on loan at Sociedad last term, is back at the Bernabeu, but there will be no Gareth Bale as the Wales international closes in on a return to Tottenham Hotspur.

Madrid disappointingly lost to Manchester City in the last-16 stage of the Champions League, but the team's league form after the lockdown period was stunning and ultimately saw them lift the title.

Indeed, Zidane's side won nine of their last 10 league games to finish at the summit, ultimately putting 87 points on the board, five more than second-place Barca, who had their problems last term.

Madrid will be looking for a number of young players to step forward this season, while they will also be hoping for a lot more from Eden Hazard, who has endured a very difficult first 12 months at the club.

Real Sociedad La Liga form: D

Real Madrid pre-season form: W


Team News

Eden Hazard warms up for Real Madrid on July 10, 2020© Reuters

Sociedad will again be without the services of Asier Illarramendi, Luca Sangalli, Martin Merquelanz and Martin Zubimendi through injury, while Willian Jose remains a doubt due to illness.

Igor Zubeldia is also struggling with a knee problem, meaning that Ander Guevara could start in the middle of the park, while Silva could feature for the home side in a forward area.

Mikel Oyarzabal came off the bench against Valladolid last weekend, and the Spaniard should now join Alexander Isak in the final third of the field.

As for Madrid, a substantial injury list includes Hazard, Lucas Vazquez, Isco and Marco Asensio, while Mariano Diaz is unavailable after undergoing surgery for tonsillitis.

Eder Militao is also a doubt due to a muscular problem that he picked up in Wednesday's pre-season clash with Getafe, but Luka Jovic and Odegaard both trained on Friday and could be involved.

Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior are likely to be given the nod alongside Karim Benzema in the final third of the field, while a familiar midfield should include Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric.

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Gorosabel, Elustondo, Llorente, Monreal; Merino, Guevara, Lopez; Oyarzabal, Isak, D Silva

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius


SM words green background

We say: Real Sociedad 1-2 Real Madrid

Madrid will be missing a number of key players this weekend, but the visitors still have enough quality to pick up all three points. Sociedad are also full of talent, and it should be a very interesting contest; we just have a feeling for Los Blancos here, though, and fancy them to start their season with a win.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

ID:414912:cQx

Who will win Sunday's La Liga clash between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid?

Real Sociedad
Draw
Real Madrid
Real Sociedad
0.0%
Draw
0.0%
Real Madrid
0.0%
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Paulo Dybala in action for Juventus on May 12, 2019
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Sociedad74211431114
2Real Madrid641194513
3Granada641188013
4Villarreal733188012
5Atletico MadridAtletico5320101911
6Cadiz732266011
7Osasuna631264210
8ElcheElche531154110
9Getafe631254110
10Real Betis7304711-49
11EibarEibar722356-18
12Barcelona52129547
13Sevilla52125417
14Valencia7214911-27
15AlavesAlaves721458-37
16Athletic Bilbao620446-26
17Celta Vigo7133410-66
18Huesca7052510-55
19Levante6114611-54
20Real Valladolid7034511-63

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