MX23RW : Tuesday, June 22 12:16:18| >> :600:151766:151766:
May 7, 2021 at 8pm UK at Estadio Anoeta
Real SociedadReal Sociedad
Elustondo (72'), Oyarzabal (90+2')
Guevara (36')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Gazzaniga (11'), Fidel (12'), Barragan (24')
Guti (11')

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

Sports Mole previews Friday's La Liga clash between Real Sociedad and Elche, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Elche's battle to escape the La Liga relegation zone will continue on Friday evening when they head to San Sebastian to take on fifth-placed Real Sociedad.

The hosts, who lost away to struggling Huesca last time out, are currently battling Villarreal and Real Betis for fifth spot in the table, while Elche sit down in 19th position, one point behind 17th-placed Real Valladolid.

Match preview

Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann scores against Real Sociedad in La Liga on March 21, 2021© Reuters

Real Sociedad had been looking to make it three straight La Liga victories when they travelled to Huesca last weekend, but an own goal from Aritz Elustondo in the 87th minute of the contest saw the hosts boost their own survival hopes with an important victory.

Imanol Alguacil's side have won 14, drawn 11 and lost nine of their 34 league matches this season to collect 53 points, which has left them in fifth position in the table.

The Basque outfit are not in a top-four face, sitting 17 points behind fourth-placed Sevilla, but they will be determined to hold off the challenge of Villarreal and Real Betis to finish fifth. As it stands, there is only two points between seventh-placed Betis and Real Sociedad in fifth.

Alguacil's team will finish the campaign with matches against Atletico Madrid (A), Real Valladolid (H) and Osasuna (A), and there is no question that fifth would be seen as a successful campaign, particularly as they also won the rearranged 2020 Copa del Rey final last month.

Real Sociedad have been relatively strong at home this term, winning seven, drawing six and losing four of their 17 matches at the Anoeta, and they will be taking on an Elche side with the worst away record in the division.

Elche's Dani Calvo celebrates scoring their first goal with Cifu on March 13, 2021© Reuters

Elche, as mentioned, are currently locked in a battle to stay in the division, with a total of 30 points from 34 matches leaving them down in 19th position.

The race to stay in the league is absolutely fascinating as there are only five points between 20th-placed Eibar and Alaves in 16th, meaning that a lot could change before the end of the campaign.

A win for Elche on Friday would move them out of the bottom three, and they have performed impressively in their last two matches, beating Levante 1-0 on April 24 before losing narrowly to Atletico last weekend.

Los Franjiverdes are bidding to make it back-to-back seasons at this level of football, and they have a relatively kind finish to the campaign, facing Alaves (H), Cadiz (A) and Athletic Bilbao (H) in their final three matches.

As mentioned, though, away form has been a huge issue for Fran Escriba's side this term, picking up just 10 points from their 17 matches on their travels, which is the worst record in the division.

Real Sociedad La Liga form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Elche La Liga form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Team News

Real Sociedad midfielder David Silva in action against Real Madrid in La Liga on September 20, 2020© Reuters

Real Sociedad are still without the services of a number of first-team players, with Igor Zubeldia, Jon Pacheco, Mikel Merino, Aihen Munoz, Asier Illarramendi and Luca Sangalli among those on the sidelines.

Head coach Alguacil is expected to resist the temptation to make wholesale changes from the defeat to Huesca, but David Silva could return to the side in midfield.

Adnan Januzaj should again feature in an attacking position, meanwhile, and the hosts will be looking to leading scorer Alexander Isak to fire them past the relegation strugglers on Friday.

As for Elche, Johan Mojica and Guido Carrillo remain unavailable for selection through muscle and hamstring problems respectively, but the visitors are otherwise in strong shape.

Head coach Escriba could decide to select the same Xi that took to the field for the 1-0 defeat to league leaders Atletico last time out, with Lucas Boye and Pere Milla again leading the attack, leaving Tete Morente and Fidel to operate in the wide areas.

It seems likely that there will be a change at right-back, though, with Antonio Barragan coming in for Helibelton Palacios, which was an alteration that occurred at the interval of the clash with Atletico.

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Gorosabel, Elustondo, Le Normand, Monreal; Guevara, Zubimendi, D Silva; Oyarzabal, Isak, Januzaj

Elche possible starting lineup:
Gazzaniga; Barragan, Calvo, Gonzalez, Josema; Morente, Guti, Marcone, Fidel; Boye, Milla

SM words green background

We say: Real Sociedad 1-0 Elche

Real Sociedad were disappointing against Huesca last time out, but we are finding it very difficult to back anything other than a home victory considering Elche's away form this term. It is likely to be a tight affair in San Sebastian, but Real Sociedad should ultimately have enough quality to edge out a vital win.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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