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[monks data]
Real Sociedad logo
Champions League | Group Stage
Nov 29, 2023 at 8pm UK
Reale Arena
Red Bull Salzburg
Real Sociedad
0 - 0
Salzburg

Elustondo (38')
FT

Dedic (90+1')

Preview: Real Sociedad vs. Red Bull Salzburg - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Real Sociedad and Red Bull Salzburg, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Real Sociedad will look to strengthen their chances of winning Group D in the Champions League when they welcome Red Bull Salzburg to Anoeta on Wednesday.

The Spanish side have already secured a place in the knockout round, but they will be looking to beat Inter Milan to first place in order to secure a seeding in the last 16 draw.


Match preview

Real Sociedad's Ander Barrenetxea celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on September 17, 2023© Reuters

No matter what happens here, if Real Sociedad can beat Inter on matchday six, then they are assured to win the group, thanks to what would then be a better head-to-head record.

Match or better Inter's result here though, and they will be in the ascendancy given their superior goal difference, as both sides sit on 10 points following three wins, and a draw against each other on matchday one.

One of those three wins came in the reverse in Austria on matchday two, before back-to-back wins over last season's quarter-finalists Benfica.

Imanol Alguacil's side were phenomenal in San Sebastian on matchday four as they tore Benfica to shreds in the first half, going in 3-0 up at the break, having also missed a penalty and had a goal chalked off by VAR.

Rafa Silva's consolation did little to dampen matters, and that was just the second goal that La Real have let in during the group stages, the joint-best record in the competition.

Home form across all competitions will give them confidence of another three points here, as they have lost just once at Anoeta all season - against Barcelona - and have won five of their last six.

Despite a 2-1 win over Sevilla at the weekend, thanks in part to Umar Sadiq's wonder goal, another top four finish already looks difficult for La Real, who will have been targeting fourth place again, but Girona's remarkable start make them the favourites to join the typical big three in the Champions League places.

Domestic form has also evaded Salzburg for much of this season, as they have not hit their usual lofty heights in the Austrian Bundesliga.

Salzburg's Oscar Gloukh celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on October 24, 2023© Reuters

Salzburg currently find themselves level on points at the top with Sturm Graz, as 33 from a possible 45 is lower than what they have been accustomed to in the past decade.

A 3-2 win at Hartberg over the weekend was just the side's third win in 90 minutes over the last eight matches, and that has shown in Europe.

There were high hopes that Salzburg could spring a surprise in a difficult group and progress after winning away to Benfica on matchday one.

However, their following three group games have all ended in defeat, including at home to their upcoming opponents, and in back-to-back meetings with Inter, meaning third place is the best they can hope for.

Two draws in their final two games will guarantee a spot in the Europa League, while if they can simply better Benfica's result here, that will also be enough for Gerhard Struber's side.

Real Sociedad Champions League form:


Real Sociedad form (all competitions):


Red Bull Salzburg Champions League form:


Red Bull Salzburg form (all competitions):



Team News

Real Sociedad midfielder Brais Mendez on October 27, 2023© Reuters

Real Sociedad have a mostly fully fit squad to choose from, and they welcomed Kieran Tierney back to the matchday squad over the weekend after a brief absence saw him miss out on Scotland duty earlier this month.

A frustrating spell at the club looks set to continue for Andre Silva, who has played just 31 minutes since moving to San Sebastian, and he will join Carlos Fernandez and Martin Merquelanz on the sidelines.

Russian youngster Arsen Zakharyan is getting a more prominent role in the side, mainly as a substitute, while he did start in a recent league win over Almeria, but he is still facing huge competition for places with Takefusa Kubo, Brais Mendez and Ander Barrenetxea all in wonderful form.

Salzburg have a scarcely believable number of injuries heading into this clash, with up to 10 first-team players currently sidelined.

Defence is most definitely the worst-affected area of the side, with centre-backs Lukas Wallner, Bryan Okoh, Oumar Solet and Samson Baidoo all absent.

Leandro Morgalla has been moved up from the youth team to cover, while injuries to Andreas Ulmer and Aleksa Terzic at left-back means Daouda Guindo has been given a chance in the first team.

Sekou Koita and Fernando are also missing in attack, with Dijon Kameri and Maurits Kjaergaard rounding off the long injury list for Struber to deal with.

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Alex Remiro; Elustondo, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Munoz; Brais Mendez, Zubimendi, Merino; Kubo, Oyarzabal, Barrenetxea

Red Bull Salzburg possible starting lineup:
Schlager; Dedic, Morgalla, Pavlovic, Guindo; Gloukh, Bidstrup, Capaldo, Sucic; Konate, Ratkov


SM words green background

We say: Real Sociedad 3-1 Red Bull Salzburg

Real Sociedad have been arguably the revelation of this Champions League campaign so far, sealing progression after just four games, and will hope for a favour from Benfica to boost their chances of winning the group heading into a matchday six encounter with Inter.

Salzburg dropping into the Europa League would give them a huge chance to be competitive, but it is likely to go down to the final matchday, as it will be a big ask for them to get a result here given Real's form.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top 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


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Game History

How you voted: Real Sociedad vs Salzburg

Real Sociedad
87.1%
Draw
7.8%
Red Bull Salzburg
5.2%
116
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Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
QBayern651016
QCopenhagen62228
3Galatasaray61235
4Man Utd61144

Group B

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QArsenal641113
QPSV62319
3Lens62228
4Sevilla60242

Group C

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QReal Madrid660018
QNapoli631210
3Braga61144
4Union Berlin60242

Group D

TeamPWDLPTS
QReal Sociedad633012
QInter Milan633012
3Benfica61144
4Salzburg61144

Group E

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QAtletico642014
QLazio631210
3Feyenoord62046
4Celtic61144

Group F

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QDortmund632111
QPSG62228
3AC Milan62228
4Newcastle61235

Group G

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QRB Leipzig640212
3Young Boys61144
4Red Star60151

Group H

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QPorto640212
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4Antwerp61053

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