Paul Murray´s Match Preview / Real Sociedad – Las Palmas

Copa Del Rey – Round of 32 – Match Preview – Wednesday 16th December 2015

Real Sociedad v Las Palmas – 2nd Leg – (1st leg 1-2)  

A place in the Copa del Rey last 16 will be at stake when Real Sociedad and Las Palmas play tonight at the Anoeta.  Real will try to overturn their 1-2 first leg deficient over an improving Las Palmas team.  La Reala’s form has also improved since new coach Eusebio Sacristan took over the reins and they have defeated Sevilla and Eibar in their previous two home fixtures.

The team from the Canary Islands have beaten Real twice this season so they will be hoping to make it three in a row tonight.  However Las Palmas are not regarded as good travellers and may struggle to end this tie victorious, especially as Real have an away goal in their pocket.  It is likely that the visitors will adopt a defence-minded approach in an attempt to retain their slender advantage.  Coach Quique Setien said that he would take this match very seriously, implying that he is going to field his best possible side tonight, however I doubt this will prove to be the case. 

On Saturday’s La Liga match they beat Real Betis to record only their third win of the season, but these have all come on home soil. The 3 points they gained on Saturday allowed them to move off the bottom of the table but they are still in the relegation zone, so their priority is likely to remain preserving their La Liga status than progressing further in the Copa del Rey.  They are winless away from home this season with their best travelling results being draws against Celta and Valencia. 

Eusebio Sacristán has announced his squad for the game.  The 18 players named are: 

Rulli, Olazabal, Carlos Martínez, Illarra, Markel Bergara, Iñigo, Xabi Prieto, Vela, Oyarzun, Pardo, Ansotegi, Canales, Chory Castro, Yuri, Héctor, Jonathas, Oyarzabal and Elustondo. 

Agirretxe and Granero are rested for tactical reasons, Inigo Martinez misses the match through suspension and Zaldua, Zurutuza, Mikel Gonzalez and Raul Navas remain sidelined with injury. The defence starting tonight is very likely to include Ansotegi and I hope Hector, I expect Jonathas to start as the primary striker.  I also would like to see Mikel Oyarzabal play a prominent role tonight. 

Bet 365 offer the following odds for this match:

Real Sociedad to win 8/13, Draw 14/5, Las Palmas to win 9/2.

 

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