Paul Murray’s Pre-Match thoughts – Fix.1

The season starts today with our opening fixture away at Deportivo la Coruna. This should be a winnable match for us but our pre-season form gives the Txuri Urdin fans little cause for optimism. However, as is ever the case, with football supporters all over the world all common sense can be put to one side and the blind faith that most fans have as part of their DNA takes over.

Every fan at every club are 100% confident that the season will turn out well because this will be our year!! If someone could develop some tablets as an antidote to this madness they would make a fortune!!

So the squad arrived in La Coruna yesterday. David Moyes has selected 20 players to travel, two of which will be ultimately discarded. The players travelling are: Rulli, Bardaji, Zaldua, Ansotegi, Diego Reyes, Inigo, De la Bella, Yuri, Hector, Markel, Granero, Pardo, Zurutuza, Prieto, Canales, Bruma, Chory Castro, Vela, Agirretxe and Jonathas.

Mikel and Aritz Elustondo are suspended and Carlos Martinez and Raul Navas have not been selected due to injury. La Coruna is the venue of David Moyes’s first ever match as Real Sociedad’s head coach back in November 2014. That game ended in a 0-0 draw which is a result that I would take right now for the game today.

However I don’t believe it will end goalless today. Our pre-season form has been very poor with the team suffering a real goal drought. New striker Jonathas has looked very rusty so far but I am confident his class will soon become apparent.

I predict that the first goal today will be vital and whichever team scores first will not lose the game. I think the match will end in a draw but Depor will attack us hard from the start. We must absorb their initial energy and then counterattack them when the storm has died down. Bruma is built for this if he can get some decent service from his midfield.

I hope we select a solid midfield today and then play a counter attacking game using the pace of Bruma. I don’t expect Carlos Vela to start as he has not played in any of the pre-season fixtures. I think he will be on the bench and may take to the field for the final 15-20 minutes. It will be great to see him back!

From the squad who has travelled I would select the following team:

Rulli, Zaldua, Reyes, Inigo, Hector, Markel, Granero, Canales, Zurutuza, Bruma and Jonathas. However, I doubt that this will be the side that actually starts. I expect that Moyes will play Pardo, Prieto and Yuri in place of, Markel, Zuru and Hector.

It is important not to lose today. The opening games of this season offers us a great chance to get some early points under our belt unlike what has happened for the last 2 years.

Aupa Real !!

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