MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 03:15:42| >> :120:27958:27958:
Jun 21, 2020 at 9pm UK at Reale Arena
Real SociedadReal Sociedad
1-2
Real MadridReal Madrid
Merino (83')
Zubeldia (16'), Gorosabel (28'), Llorente (48'), Merino (90+7')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Ramos (50' pen.), Benzema (70')
Casemiro (21'), Modric (90+6')

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.

Title challengers Real Madrid will be looking for their third straight La Liga victory when they travel to top-four hopefuls Real Sociedad on Sunday night.

Los Blancos have beaten Eibar and Valencia since the return of the 2019-20 campaign to keep in touch with Barcelona at the summit, but Sociedad have only collected one point from their last two matches.


Match preview

Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente pictured in March 2020© Reuters

Fourteen wins, five draws and 10 defeats - that is how Sociedad have performed in La Liga this season, picking up 47 points to occupy sixth position in the table.

The Basque outfit are very much in a top-four race at this stage, sitting just two points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, although they have not been in the best form since resuming their campaign.

Indeed, a 1-1 draw at home to Osasuna on June 14 was followed by a disappointing 2-0 loss away to Alaves on Thursday night, which makes Sunday's contest even more important for Imanol Alguacil's team.

Sociedad suffered a 3-1 defeat away to Madrid earlier this season, but they have actually won two of the last three league meetings between the two teams, and there is no question that the Whites and Blues are capable of picking up a positive result on Sunday evening despite their recent struggles.

Marco Asensio celebrates scoring for Real Madrid on June 18, 2020© Reuters

Madrid, as mentioned, have picked up six points from their two matches since returning to action on June 14, following a 3-1 success over Eibar with a 3-0 victory over Valencia on Thursday night.

Karim Benzema netted twice against Los Che, while Marco Asensio came off the bench to score on his return from a serious knee injury, and the Spaniard's availability could be huge in the latter stages of the season.

As it stands, Los Blancos are just two points off leaders Barca, although the Spanish champions will have the chance to move five points clear when they face Sevilla on Friday night.

Any slip at the Estadio Ramon will open the door for Madrid, though, and Zinedine Zidane's side have actually only lost three of their 29 league games this season, which is the best record in the division.

The capital outfit also have the best away record in La Liga this season, picking up 25 points from their 14 matches, scoring 22 times in the process, which is the highest in the league.

Sociedad La Liga form: WWLWDL
Sociedad form (all competitions): WWLWDL

Real Madrid La Liga form: DLWLWW
Real Madrid form (all competitions): LLWLWW


Team News

Real Madrid's Isco celebrates scoring their first goal on February 26, 2020© Reuters

Sociedad are hoping that Martin Odegaard will be fit to face his parent club, with the 21-year-old picking up a muscular problem during the team's disappointing defeat against Alaves.

Joseba Zaldua is suspended courtesy of the red card that he picked up on Thursday night, but Mikel Merino will return from a ban of his own and should feature in central midfield.

The Basque club are also expected to be without Ander Guevara, Ander Barrenetxea and Luca Sangalli, while club captain Asier Illarramendi is out for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign.

Nacho Monreal and Robin Le Normand should both return to the back four this match, while Portu could earn a spot in the final third at the expense of Adnan Januzaj.

As for Madrid, Nacho, Luka Jovic, Lucas Vazquez and Isco are all on the sidelines through injury, while an ongoing toe problem is likely to keep Mariano Diaz out once again.

Asensio scored on his return to action against Valencia but after such a long period on the sidelines, it seems likely that the Spaniard will be used as a substitute once again.

There could be a change in the final third, though, with Rodrygo Goes, who started against Eibar, pushing to return on the right, meaning that Federico Valverde could drop back into midfield, taking Luka Modric's spot in the process.

There are not expected to be too many alterations from the side that started against Valencia, though, with Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema likely to continue in the final third of the field.

Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Elustondo, Llotente, Le Normand, Monreal; Merino, Zubeldia, Odegaard; Oyarzabal, Willian Jose, Portu

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


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Real Sociedad 1-2 Real Madrid

Madrid could be five points behind Barca by the time that they take to the field, showing the importance of the contest. Zidane's side have been in good form since the restart, and we fancy them to put another three points on the board in this match, albeit by the narrowest of margins.



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TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

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· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
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