Paul Murray´s Match Preview / Real Sociedad – Villareal

Real Sociedad's defender Ion Ansotegi (L) vies with Villarreal's Nigerian forward Ikechukwu Uche during the Spanish league football match Villarreal CF vs Real Sociedad at El Madrigal stadium in Villareal on January 13, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ JOSE JORDAN

Match Day 16 – Real Sociedad v Villarreal – Match Preview

Sunday 20th December 2015

Tough home fixture today against a very competent Villarreal side who are currently lying in 5th place in La Liga with 27 points from 15 games.  However, recently they have really struggled to score away from home with the last time they managed to appear on the scoresheet being late September at Malaga, and that was an own goal!!

This match ended 0-0 last season and the visitors have not been beaten at Anoeta since August 2010, a 1-0 defeat on the opening day of that season.

Real manager Eusebio Sacristán has announced the following 18-man squad for this match:

Rulli, Olazabal, Carlos Martínez, Illarra, Markel Bergara, Iñigo, Bruma, Granero, Agirretxe, Xabi Prieto, Carlos Vela, Pardo, Canales, Yuri, Héctor, Jonathas, Diego Reyes and Elustondo. Still injured are Raúl Navas, Zaldua, Mikel and Zurutuza while De la Bella is suspended after 5 bookings, most of which I would categorise as unnecessary.

Scoring machine Imanol Agirretxe will hope to continue his red hot form in front of goal but he needs to be supplied with some decent service from the wide areas.  I hope we start quickly and attack from the start.  Our full backs, probably Elustondo and Yuri, need to get forward from the start and Carlos Vela must learn that the other players wearing blue and white striped shirts are on the same team as him.  His selfish and greedy play, which has been the primary feature of his game this season, adds nothing to our cause.

After a really disappointing 12 months it is important that Real go into the winter break with a third consecutive home win.  We remain perilously close to the relegation zone but 3 points today will ease fears of being draw into the dogfight for survival.  We have won our last 2 home league fixtures, against Sevilla and Eibar, and often rather bizarrely we seem more content when we play stronger opposition.

Bet 365 offer the following odds for this match: Real Sociedad to win 7/5, Draw 11/5 , Villarreal to win 21/10.

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