Paul Murray´s Pre Match Thoughts – Fix.6

Real Sociedad v Athletic Bilbao – Sunday 27th September 2015

Real go into the Basque Derby finally showing some form which is more than can be said for neighbours Athletic Bilbao.  They currently have only managed 3 points (a 3-1 home victory over Getafe) from 5 games, however it should be noted that their fixture schedule has been a lot tougher than ours.

With the exception of Joseba Zaldua we should have a full squad to choose from and I hope that David Moyes will continue with Canales and Zurutuza in midfield as we look far better balanced with them in the team.  Gero Rulli will return in goal which will strengthen our defensive capabilities significantly.  After his hat-trick against Granada Imanol Agirretxe must continue as our primary striker instead of Jonathas.  The Brazilian is unlikely to be contend to sit on the be bench but Agirretxe’s form makes it impossible to leave him out.

Athletic manager Ernesto Valvede’s team seem distracted by their Europa League adventures and have shown little consistency in La Liga so far.  Hopefully this poor league form will continue on Sunday. Gorka Elustondo will return to the Anoeta for the first time since he left in the summer.  It will seem strange to see him in the “wrong coloured stripes” for the first time.

The Daily Telegraph published a story on Thursday that Newcastle Chairman Mike Ashley may be interested in replacing his manager Steve McClaren with David Moyes if their season does not rapidly improve.  I believe it is unlikely that Moyes would be tempted as the financial constraints that he would have to endure at Newcastle would be unacceptable to him.

Bet 365 makes the odds for this match: home win 7/5, draw 11/5 and away win 2/1.  I predict a 2-1 win for Real.

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