Paul Murray´s Pre-Match Thoughs / Malaga-Real Sociedad

Paul Murray´s Pre match thoughts – Malaga v Real Sociedad

Matchday 7 – Match Preview – Saturday 3rd October 2015

Real undertake the long journey south to the Costa del Sol for the away fixture with Malaga where we have not lost in any of our last 6 visits (in all competitions). The Andalusian team have had a nightmare start to the season which must be putting manager Javi Gracia under huge pressure. The equivalent match last season ended in a 1-1 draw with La Reala’s goal scored by Ruben Pardo ( presumably a collectors item) !!

Malaga’s cause tomorrow will not be helped by the unavailability of striker Nordin Amrabat.  He has travelled to Holland to have an operation on his right knee but in any event he would have missed the match due to suspension following his red card against Real Madrid last weekend.

Malaga are currently languishing in 18th position after their appalling start to the season.  Amazingly they are yet to score in any of their 6 league fixtures but to provide some context they have endured some very tough fixtures so far including matches against: Barcelona, Seville, Villarreal and Real Madrid.

The Real squad to travel is still unlikely to include Joseba Zaldua and Esteban Granero who are still injured.  That will probably mean that Ruben Pardo will continue in midfield although I would prefer to see David Zurutuza moved across into the centre and Bruma or Chory Castro start on the left wing position.

This week also saw Inigo Martinez rewarded for his fine form by being recalled into the full Spanish squad for the Euro 2016 International fixtures against Luxembourg and Ukraine.   He deserves this recognition as he has shown substantial improvement this season especially achieving a greater degree of self discipline which to be honest I have thought for sometime was long overdue.

So far this season we have demonstrated that we are much more secure defensively, especially when Inigo is paired with Diego Reyes.  They have played together in four league matches and we are yet to concede a goal with them in tandem.  However we are still not creating enough goal scoring chances,  mainly because we lack creativity in midfield.

Since the arrival of David Moyes in November 2014 we have only won 10 league matches, drawn 13 and lost 10.  If this pattern is continued we won’t break into the European qualification places because our lack of offensive ambition will preclude it.  In general terms Moyes appears to want his team to default to play safe and not be beaten. But in my opinion this «safety first policy» is just not good enough, we need to be much more adventurous in attack, play much quicker and improve significantly in our use of dead ball situations.

Although Moyes is now making more attacking substitutions, He is often leaving it very late which limits the impact of the changes made.  Before each match starts the score is 0-0, effectively both sides have a point each, Moyes gives the impression that he is often happy for matches to end in the same way.  On many occasions it seems Moyes is frighten to lose matches, however this also means that he is equally frightened to win.  This is not what the Txuri Urdin supporters want. We don’t want our team to attack in the final 10 minutes, we want to attack from the very start, forcing the play and pressuring our opposition from the kick off.   More ambition please David !!!

Bet 365 offer the following odds for the match: Home win 11/8, Draw 21/10 and Away win 23/10.

I predict that Real Sociedad will win if they attack from the start.

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