Paul Murray´s Match Preview – Levante vs Real Sociedad

Levante Real Sociedad

Paul Murray´s Match Preview  – Levante vs Real Sociedad

Matchday 9 –  Sunday 25th October

The away match against Levante, who are one of only 3 teams currently below Real in the league table, has been a difficult fixture in recent seasons to obtain points.  Levante are unbeaten in their last 6 home fixtures against their visitors but have only scored one goal in their previous 3 league matches and like La Reala have only won once this season.

This match looks like it will be a low scoring game but it is vital for both teams not to lose.  I expect Real to dominate possession but will they be able to finally turn this superiority into 3 points?

David Moyes has had very little luck so far this season but the reality of the situation is that we really don’t make opposition goalkeepers work hard as our shooting is dreadful.  Our record of shoots hitting the target remains poor, as is our use of attacking dead ball situations, both corners and free kicks.  These are basic training ground issues which I fail to understand why they continue to remain unaddressed.

Moyes apparently prides himself on his work on the training ground, but I see very little evidence of this ‘work’ having a positive impact on match days.  So the question has to a be asked why is this?  The obvious answer would be communication as Moyes still appears to have made little progress with either speaking Spanish or Basque to any acceptable level.  This must restrict his ability to get the players to understand what he requires from them.

Instead of spending time during the recent International break lecturing other coaches at UEFA, maybe Moyes should have made time to take some intensive Spanish language classes.  After nearly a year in San Sebastian I feel that his lack of language skills are a self inflicted wound which is totally unacceptable.

According to the website WhoScored.com, Real are rated as 5th in La Liga in terms of possession but only 14th for shots on goal.  This becomes much worse when the statistics for shots on target are considered where Real are currently rated in 20th place.  I have been pointing out for weeks that we seem to specialise in meaningless possession which does not result in hurting our opposition.  These statistics seem to prove that my observations are accurate and unless we can become much more direct and positive going forward we will find ourselves in the Segunda Division next season.

Moyes has made attacking substitutions in recent matches but this is often because he is chasing the game.  I feel that he needs to make these changes earlier in the match as it is not realistic to think an attacking substitute can change a game if he is only given the final ten minutes.

Real will be without the suspended Diego Reyes and Jonathas both stupidly red carded last weekend for dissent.  We are also likely to be forced into making a change at left back, with Yuri replacing the injured De la Bella, although I would prefer to see Hector given an opportunity.  I expect that Markel will lose his midfield place as Moyes will try to field an attacking lineup from the start.  I remain hopeful that Carlos Vela can find a way to motivate himself and prove that he is worth has place in the team.  So far this season he looks a shadow of his former self in what is beginning to look like his final months a Real player before his likely departure to play in the MLS.

A defeat tomorrow will leave Moyes in a very difficult position as President Aperribay, who has so far been typically very supportive of him, will be forced to consider alternative Head Coaches to avoid the club becoming detached from the other teams at the foot of the table.  The fans will demand to see positive action from the President, much the same as this time last season!

Bet 365 offer the following odds for this match:

Levante 13/8, Real Sociedad 9/5 and draw 11/5.

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