LaLiga

Real Sociedad vs Villareal: The Battle of Dark Horses

Real Sociedad vs Villareal: The Battle of Dark Horses

The clash of two La Liga dark horses this season is on this weekend. Real Sociedad, which is currently on the fifth of the table, will be taking on Villareal is still on the tenth. Imanol Alguacil’s men have been considered as one of the potential teams which could qualify to the Champions League next season. They are competing with Sevilla and Atletico Madrid for two spots beside Barcelona and Real Madrid. The game against Villareal will be another challenge they have to face to keep their current position.

Real Sociedad news:

Mikel Oyarzabal and Co’s form lately has been positive. They have been unbeaten in the last four games. In their last match of 2019, they had maximum points in a thrilling encounter in Pamplona. They won 4-3 over the host, Osasuna, by goals from Mikel Oyarzabal, Portu, the Real Madrid’s loanee, Martin Odegaard and the Swedish youngster, Alexander Isak.

Villareal news:

Javier Calleja’s men also sealed three points after thumping Getafe. Their winning goal was eventually scored by Moi Gomez after series of failed attempts at the first half. It was their back-to-back win after previously humiliated Sevilla at their home turf.  

Missing players and probable lineups:

Imano Alguacil is in favour of 4-3-3 which can be modified to 4-1-4-1. He mainly relies on the potential young players in the squad such as Mikel Oyarzabal, Igor Zubeldia, Alexander Isak, Mikel Merino and surely the Norwegian wonder, Martin Odengaard. There are at least four players on the injury table. They are Asier Illaramendi, David Zurutuza, Luca Sangalli and Aritz Elustondo.

Real Sociedad: Alex Remiro; Igor Zubeldia, Nacho Monreal, Joseba Zaldua, Robin Le  Normand; Diego Llorente, Mikel Merino, Martin Odegaard; William Jose, Portu, Mikel Oyarzabal.

 Meanwhile, Javier Calleja often opts for 4-2-3-1 with transition to 4-1-4-1. Unlike his counterpart, he prefers the experienced names in his squad such as Raul Albiol, Santi Cazorla, Vicente Iborra and Gerard Moreno as the key figures combined with the African young talents like the Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwueze and the Cameroonian international, Andre-Frank Anguissa. Fortunately, only the reserved players will be ruled out for this game. They are Guiseppe Rossi, Bruno Soriano, Santiago Saceres, Ramiro Guerra.

Villareal: Sergio Asenjo; Mario Gaspar, Ramiro Funes Mori, Pau Torres, Xavi Quintilla; Vicente Iborra, Santi Cazorla, Frank Anguissa;  Moi Gomez, Karl Toko Ekambi, Gerard Moreno.

Match facts:

Santi Cazorla and Co are the slight superior side in the head-to-head encounter. They have won three times in the last six meetings whereas Sociedad has only managed to win twice.

Prediction:

This clash is likely to be a tight one as both have potentials to win the game. The Yellow Submarine has proven their contenders that they could defeat the stronger team in their away match like they did against Sevilla. Nevertheless, the host should be able to secure a narrow win here.

Where to watch:

International TV channels:

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