Paul Murray´s Match Preview / Real Madrid – Real Sociedad

Matchday 17 – Real Madrid v Real Sociedad – Match Preview

Wednesday 30th December 2015

A miserable 2015 draws to a close with La Reala travelling to the capital to undertake the unenviable task of facing Real Madrid.  The game is scheduled for a 16:00 afternoon kickoff which will save us from hanging around all day for what current statistics and recent history indicate is likely to be a heavy defeat.

In their last game, just prior to Christmas, Real Madrid put 10 goals passed Rayo, becoming the first team to score double figures in a La Liga match since 1969.  But unless everyone of their players suffered from food poisoning over the festive period the team from the Basque Country are likely to be the only turkeys on show tomorrow. I believe it will be a question of keeping the score down for us and saving as much energy as possible for the vital away fixture against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday 3rd January.  This damage limitation exercise would be by far our most sensible tactic.

Real Madrid have averaged 20 shots per match in La Liga this season and have a passing success rate of 87.1%.  But they can be vulnerable defensively having conceded 15 goals in 16 La Liga matches. They rely heavily on outscoring their opponents and their record of 42 goals in league fixtures so far this season is proof of their attacking potency.

However reports have suggested manager Rafa Benitez, whose side have lost three of their last six games and currently lie third in the table, could be on the brink of losing his job amid rumours and unrest at the club. They are two points behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at the top of the table, and the defending champions also have a game in hand.  This is not considered good enough and the Copa del Rey fiasco against Cadiz further undermined Benitez’s standing, with Madrid expelled from the competition for fielding an ineligible player.

Benitez is not a popular figure with the supporters but the fact remains that Madrid have scored 22 goals in their last three home matches and they remain extremely difficult to beat at the Bernabeu Stadium.

Visitors Real Sociedad are currently 14th in the table and have shown only slight improvement since sacking David Moyes in November.  They have won two, drawn two and lost two of their six league matches under the management of Eusebio, and remain only two points clear of the relegation zone.  These are worrying times for Real Sociedad who have been consistently inconsistent for nearly 2 years.  It it wasn’t for the somewhat unexpected goal scoring form of striker Imanol Agirretxe they would be in even deeper trouble than they currently find themselves in.

Eusebio Sacristán announced his 18-man squad to travel.  The list reads: Rulli, Olazabal, Carlos Martínez, Illarra, Markel Bergara, Iñigo, Bruma, Agirretxe, Xabi Prieto, Vela, Pardo, Canales, Yuri, Héctor, Jonathas, Diego Reyes, De la Bella and Elustondo.

Bookmakers Bet365 offer the following odds for this match.

Real Madrid to win 1/10, draw 9/1 and Real Sociedad to win 22/1.

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