Match Preview / Eibar – Real Sociedad
Matchday 33 – Eibar v Real Sociedad – Match Preview
Saturday 16th April 2016
By PAUL MURRAY
Real Sociedad will be hoping to continue their strong recent form when they visit neighbours Eibar tomorrow night. They arrive at the Ipurua Stadium after defeating Sevilla and Barcelona in their last two fixtures, this is in stark contrast to their hosts, who are in a dreadful run of form.
The two teams have only met three times in League fixtures with an equal record of one victory, one draw and one defeat for each side. The reverse match played in early December 2015 saw Real Sociedad win 2-1.
Currently in 11th place with 38 points Eibar are dropping down the league table at an alarming rate. They have only secured 2 points from their last five league games and have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of these games, conceding four against Real Madrid last weekend. They have lost their last three home league matches and they have failed to win at home since defeating Levante 2-0 in mid February. Their overall home record in the 16 games played is (W7, D3, L6), scoring 22 times and conceding 19 goals.
Their poor form is reminiscent of what happened to them last year when the wheels came off as the season drew to a close, and they ended the season in 18th place. They were only reprieved from relegation after Elche were sanctioned following financial irregularities.
Eibar are heavily reliant on Borja Baston up front. The on loan striker has netted 17 times so far and will be a considerable threat to the Real defence. Sergi Enrich, who has weighed in with 6 goals and 5 assists, will also need careful handling as Eibar try to arrest their slide towards the wrong end of the table.
Real Sociedad are now up to 9th position with 41 points after their two impressive consecutive victories at Seville and at home against Barcelona. Their away record in the 16 games played is (W5, D3, L8), scoring 21 goals and conceding 26.
Real are hoping to finish the season in the highest league position possible but realistically this is likely to be 8th place if they can overhaul Malaga, with whom they are currently level. Sevilla, currently 7th, look to be too far in front for Real to catch. The current seven point gap, with only 6 matches remaining may prove to be impossible for La Reala to close, although if the teams finish level Real will benefit from a better head to head record.
Eusebio has selected the following squad for this match:
Rulli, Bardají, Aritz Elustondo, Mikel, Diego Reyes, Iñigo, De la Bella, Yuri, Markel, Pardo, Illarra, Granero, Zurutuza, Xabi Prieto, Bruma, Oyarzabal, Vela and Jonathas.
Canales, Carlos Martinez, Raul Navas, Agirretxe and Olazabal remain injured and Hector, Zaldua and Zubeldia are omitted. Inigo returns after injury and is joined in the squad by Yuri and Markel, who are available again after suspension.
Imanol Agirretxe underwent an operation on Monday evening at the Quirón University Hospital in Madrid. An arthroscopic operation was carried out by Dr Manuel Monteagudo de la Rosa, and was reported to have been successful. The operation was performed on the player’s left ankle and the posterior part of his left foot. The initial prognostic for his full return to daily training is three months. It seems very surprising that it has taken so long for this injury, sustained just after Christmas, to finally be diagnosed as requiring surgical intervention.
Bookmakers Bet 365 offer the following odds for this match:
Eibar to win 17/10, Draw 9/4 and Real Sociedad to win 17/10