21st June, 2020
Real Madrid are in for a do or die kind of match today as they travel to Real Sociedad for a LaLiga fixture. Ordinarily, this game would have passed as a normal Spanish League fixture without any special features attached to it.
However, that is not the case.
Surely not so after the league leaders, Barcelona slipped up a few days back in Sevilla thereby handing the Los Blancos from Madrid a golden opportunity to go top of the LaLiga table standings.
If there is a sure thing that we know about Real Madrid, it is the fact that this is a team that does not joke with opportunities which come its way. That means just one thing today – they team will give an arm and a leg to win todnight’s game.
In this post, we take a look at both teams’ situation before the match, starting naturally with the home side-Real Sociedad.
While the hosts of this match may have found the mood in their camp at a season-high prior to the interruption back in March, they have recently shown some signs of a struggle since returning to action.
Aside from having to come from behind to snatch a point off of Osasuna last weekend, La Real were hit with a shock 2-0 defeat away at Alaves on Thursday evening.
They have suddenly given up their spot in the Champions League positions and are now looking to close the deficit.
Sociedad have managed to win just one of their last four La Liga appearances either side of the break.
However, despite having failed to win back-to-back top-flight outings for the first time since entering 2020, the hosts have gained plenty of plaudits for their stellar record at the Reale Arena.
Having booked their spot in the final of this year’s Copa del Rey, the Whites and Blues are unbeaten in their last five La Liga match-ups on home soil, collecting 13 points on their home turf.
Even though Real Madrid loanee and attacking talisman Martin Odegaard may have picked up a minor injury in midweek, Sociedad remains confident that the 21-year-old will be okay to feature this weekend.
However, they will be without Joseba Zaldua who will begin a suspension after being given his marching orders against Alaves on Thursday.
Now to the visitors – Real Madrid.
Even though Real Madrid are still chasing Barcelona in the race to reclaim the La Liga title, Los Blancos have returned from the enforced break in the midst of a bright run.
Add that to the fact they have very good chance of going top of the LaLiga tonight, and we see how vital this match is to them.
After having put in a rampant second-half display against Valencia on Wednesday night after early VAR drama, Zinedine Zidane’s men did land a 3-0 win at their temporary new home.
Making their first appearance on the scene since the interruption and picking up what turned out to be a routine 3-1 romp against Eibar, the former European champions are desperate to find some much-needed stability on the road.
Including entering the March break with a shock 2-1 defeat away at Real Betis, Zinedine Zidane has seen his side lose back-to-back La Liga matches outside of Madrid for the first time since October 2018.
With the result of this game being so important to his side, Zidane will likely be calling on Karim Benzema to lead their charge at the Reale Arena.
After bagging a brace against the Bats in midweek, the 32-year-old only sits behind Lionel Messi in the race for the Golden Boot.
Aside from the quartet of Luka Jovic, Lucas Vazquez, Nacho and Isco, who will once again be unable to feature on Sunday, Los Blancos have no new injury issues for tonight’s showdown.
Here are some facts to remember as we go into tonight’s encounter.
- Including picking up a dramatic 4-3 win when the two sides faced off in the Copa del Rey earlier in the year, Sociedad have won three of their last four meetings against the former champions.
- Real Madrid had previously lost back-to-back La Liga away matches for the first time since October 2018.
- Sociedad are unbeaten in their last five La Liga matches at the Reale Arena, collecting 13 points on that run.
- Karim Benzema has scored three top-flight goals in as many appearances either side of the break.
- Seven of the last eight meetings between the two sides have seen over 2.5 goals by full-time.
Even though Real Madrid may have returned from the enforced break enjoying a free-scoring run and looking at tonight’s match as a golden opportunity, they could be on for a tough test against a Sociedad side looking for a bounce.
With this weekend’s hosts continuing to shine on home soil, they might be smelling an upset against a Madrid side who had previously lost back-to-back away fixtures for the first time since October 2018.
Also knocking the former champions out of the Copa del Rey prior to the break in what turned out to be a seven-goal thriller in the capital, Imanol Alguacil’s men have won three of their last four meetings against the title chasers.
With Real Madrid having had to struggle to find their best in the opening 45 against Valencia on Thursday and helped by a controversial VAR call, don’t be surprised to see an upset at the Reale Arena on tonight.