Match Preview / Real Sociedad – Getafe

Matchday 34 – Real Sociedad v Getafe  – Match Preview

Thursday 21st April 2016

Following Saturday’s disappointing defeat at Eibar, Real host bottom club Getafe in a rare midweek league fixture.  They will be looking to gain all three points against the team who are currently bottom of the league.

Real probably deserved a draw against Eibar but really did not push hard enough.  Eibar played in a robust manner, winning tackles and pressing hard.  La Reala found this difficult to cope with and were unable to establish a rhythm to their play.

Failure by Real to use the width of the pitch assisted Eibar defensively, and the fact that we were unable to even win one corner, rather confirms the inadequacy of our attacking options.  In my opinion the squad needs considerable strengthening in this area for next season.

Real will be attempting to extend the positive statistics they have achieved in home league meetings with Getafe.  This will be the ninth time they have met in San Sebastián since the two teams first played against each other in La Liga in 2004-05. The current record of results at games played at Anoeta stands at two Txuri-urdin wins, five draws and just one defeat.

Getafe’s record on their travels this season has been truly terrible.  Of the 16 away games played they have only managed a solitary victory, defeating Sporting Gijon 1-2 in early January.  They have also drawn twice, gaining a miserable 5 points from a possible total of 48 available.  Their away fixtures have seen them score a paltry 9 goals, conceding 44 times and they have failed to score on 10 separate occasions.

Their overall record this season also makes grim reading.  Of the 33 games played they have lost 19, drawn 7 and only won 7.  They have only found the net 29 times and conceded a massive 61 times on their way to 28 points and last position.  The reverse fixture played in December ended in a 1-1 draw.

Getafe responded to their three-month spell without a win by sacking coach Fran Escriba earlier this month.  Former Elche boss Escriba became the 10th La Liga coach to be relieved of his duties this season, after less than a season in charge, and a run of 12 games without a win

He has been replaced by Juan Esnaider who has been appointed until the end of the season. Upon his appointment Esnaider said he “couldn’t refuse Getafe’ when offered the Coach’s job. I’d love to be here all my life. The team has shown they have a level much higher than the table says. It’s not a coincidence they picked up so many points in the first half of the season. If they did that then they can do it again.”

Very encouraging words from the new coach.  Sadly it appears to have fallen on deaf ears as his new players responded to his appointment by losing 1-5 to Real Madrid in his first match in charge. Nice Juan !!

Getafe have held their position in the Primera Division since their promotion in 2004/5 season.  Their place is under serious threat this season and only a huge turnaround in form will see them avoid relegation.  Three of their five remaining matches are away fixtures which does not bode well for their survival.

That said Getafe have for many years defied all expectations and have managed to preserve their top flight status.  I expect them to be very resilient in this match as defeat could leave them with a mountain to climb to ensure they retain their position in La Liga for next season.

Eusebio has named the following squad for this match:

Olazabal, Bardají, Zaldua, Aritz Elustondo, Mikel, Diego Reyes, Iñigo, De la Bella, Héctor, Markel, Pardo, Zurutuza, Granero, Xabi Prieto, Bruma, Oyarzabal, Vela and Jonathas.

Gero Rulli is suspended and Illarra and Yuri are rested, Olazabal, Hector and Zaldua replace them.  Agirretxe, Canales, Carlos Martinez and Raul Navas all remain on the injury list.

In other news misfit striker Alfred Finnbogason continues to do well in Germany with Augsburg.  He has scored 5 goals in 10 games and impressed the management there sufficiently to make the club think seriously about buying him on a permanent basis. A fee of €4 million has be mentioned, which represents a considerable loss on the €8 million fee we paid for him 2 years ago. It is probably best to accept the fee and move him on.

Bookmakers Bet 365 offer the following odds for this match:

Real Sociedad to win 8/15, Draw 10/3 and Getafe to win 5/1.

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