MX23RW : Monday, November 19 10:04:48
Sep 17, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Estadio Anoeta
Attendance: 24,966
Real Sociedad
1-3
Real Madrid
FT

Preview: Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid

Sports Mole previews Sunday night's La Liga clash between high-flying Real Sociedad and Spanish champions Real Madrid at the Anoeta.

Spanish champions Real Madrid will attempt to return to winning ways in La Liga when they visit high-flying Real Sociedad on Sunday night.

Los Blancos have dropped four points in their last two league matches, and will visit an exciting Sociedad outfit that are one of only two teams to have made a 100% start to the 2017-18 La Liga campaign.


Real Sociedad

Asier Illarramendi and David Zurutuza vie with Samuel Castillejo during the La Liga match between Villarreal and Real Sociedad at El Madrigal stadium in Villareal on April 24, 2016© AFP

Alongside Barcelona, Sociedad have won all three of their league matches at the start of the new season – scoring an impressive 10 times in the process.

Since finishing fourth in La Liga at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, Sociedad have posted seventh, 12th, ninth and sixth over the last four seasons. They are being tipped to challenge for a Champions League finish once again, but face a serious test of their credentials against the champions this weekend.

Eusebio Sacristan's side opened their league season with a 3-2 win at Celta Vigo, before recording an impressive 3-0 home victory over Villarreal before the international break.

Six points then became nine when they won 4-2 at Deportivo La Coruna last weekend, and the Basque side will also enter this match off the back of an impressive 4-0 victory over Rosenborg in their Europa League group opener on Thursday night.

Balancing the Europa League and La Liga will be a tough challenge for Eusebio this season, and it will be interesting to see just how seriously the European competition is taken, especially if their impressive league form continues.

A squad that has exciting youngsters and experienced campaigners in equal measure, Sociedad will be looking to strike another blow to a Real Madrid team that have dropped four points in their last two league fixtures.

Recent form: WWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWW


Real Madrid

Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio celebrates scoring against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup second leg on August 16, 2017© Offside

With Barcelona expected to beat Getafe on Saturday afternoon, Real Madrid could be seven points off the top of the table by the time that they take to the field against an impressive Sociedad outfit on Sunday night.

Los Blancos opened their 2017-18 La Liga campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Deportivo La Coruna, but back-to-back home league draws against Valencia and Levante have left them on five points from three fixtures.

It is far from a disastrous position at this stage of the season, but when considering Barcelona's straightforward fixture list over the next few weeks, Real Madrid are facing the possibility of falling further behind.

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to action to inspire his team in the Champions League on Wednesday night, with the Portuguese scoring twice in a 3-0 win over APOEL, which saw Real Madrid start their Group H campaign in style.

Ronaldo will once again be unavailable this weekend, however, which places more emphasis on an under-pressure Gareth Bale, who has struggled to hit top form in the early stages of the new campaign.

Real Madrid have stuttered in the early stages of the new La Liga season, but they have a fine recent record against Sociedad, and won 15 of their 19 away league matches last term en route to landing the title.

Recent form: WDD
Recent form (all competitions): WWDDW


Team News

Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio celebrates scoring against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup second leg on August 16, 2017© Offside

Juanmi and Kevin Rodrigues are both expected to return to the Sociedad XI after starting on the bench against Rosenborg on Thursday night.

Adnan Januzaj is also pushing for a start, but Carlos Vela is expected to start in the final third alongside Willian Jose. Diego Llorente, meanwhile, should feature against the club that he left in the summer.

Ronaldo will serve the final game of his domestic suspension, while Karim Benzema is on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, leaving Real Madrid short in the final third of the field.

Marco Asensio should return from a shaving-related injury to start alongside Bale and Isco in the final third, while Raphael Varane is pushing for a start after returning to the squad against APOEL.

Marcelo is suspended after picking up a red card against Levante last weekend, which could see Nacho switch to left-back, although Theo Hernandez is also an option for Zinedine Zidane.

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Rulli; Odriozola, Rodrigues, I.Martinez, Llorente; Prieto, Illarramendi, Zurutuza; Juanmi, Willian Jose, Vela

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Nacho; Modric, Kroos, Casemiro; Bale, Asensio, Isco


Head To Head

Real Madrid have won each of the last five La Liga meetings between the two teams – including 3-0 victories in both league matches last season.

Sociedad have actually only scored twice in their last five league games with Los Blancos, but the Basque outfit did record a 4-2 win over the Madrid giants when they met at the Anoeta in August 2014.

Sociedad won three successive league games against Real Madrid between April 2003 and May 2004, but have only been victorious on one occasion since.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Real Sociedad 1-2 Real Madrid

It would not be a surprise to see the two teams share the points on Sunday night, but Real Madrid know how to grind out victories when needed, and we are backing the champions to just shade an entertaining affair.


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

Real Sociedad
Draw
Real Madrid
Real Sociedad
37.8%
Draw
17.8%
Real Madrid
44.4%
A general view during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Real Zaragoza at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 30, 2011
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1273234181624
2Sevilla1272324141023
3Atletico MadridAtletico12651168823
4AlavesAlaves127231712523
5Espanyol126331610621
6Real Madrid126242016420
7Real Valladolid1245399017
8Levante125251819-117
9GironaGirona124531314-117
10Real Sociedad124441514116
11Getafe124441110116
12Real Betis124441215-316
13EibarEibar124351218-615
14Celta Vigo123542220214
15Valencia1228289-114
16Villarreal122551113-211
17Athletic Bilbao121741319-610
18Leganes12246916-710
19Rayo Vallecano121471425-117
20Huesca121381025-156

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