Match Preview: Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid – 2021/22
Real Madrid visit the Reale Arena on the back of a ten-game unbeaten streak, one that stretches back to their early October defeat at Espanyol. Week after week, Carlo Ancelotti fields his best available team, hoping to keep up with the intensity of the Spanish league.
So far, it’s worked in Real Madrid’s favour, with the Merengues sitting top of LaLiga with a fair advantage over rivals Atlético Madrid. Real Sociedad come into tonight’s game at a serial disadvantage, not least because their recent form has been worrying. But also because of how dangerous their opponents have seemed in these past few weeks.
What to Expect:
Imanol Alguacil’s men sat top of LaLiga not long ago. Their brand of football is recognised as a complete structural fabrication of crafty footballers from back to front. Having only scored 19 goals in 15 odd games, their offensive record isn’t something to be very proud of. Especially when considering they have extremely well valued attacking talent in stock.
The likes of Alexander Isak, Mikel Oyarzabal, Adnan Januzaj and Norwegian forward Alexander Sølorth have all consistently let down when it has mattered. On the other hand, Alguacil’s defence has tightened up and has conceded just 11 times all campaign, which is joint lowest in the league with the likes of Sevilla and Bilbao.
Sociedad have a tendency to sit off teams that are, on the offset, better than them. They aren’t quite the Sevilla-esque side that prides itself over having possession of the ball. La Reale are street smart off the ball, narrow in possession and have the ability to tweak any team’s temperament once they get into their counter attacking rhythm.
Real Madrid’s football has been concise and to the point lately. When watching their games, one gets a clear idea of how Ancelotti wants their attacking framework to be. Playing Sociedad away from home might turn out to be a difficult challenge, but I don’t expect as much of a force when compared to what we’ve overcome as of late.
Carlo Ancelotti has a full strength team to pick from. With Rodrygo and Hazard having recovered from their gastrointestinal problems, Marco Asensio is no longer a guarantee on the right side. Dani Carvajal was replaced by Lucas Vázquez against Bilbao in midweek but may play again today.
One of Toni Kroos or Luka Modrić may be granted a rest following Valverde’s reintroduction. Dani Ceballos and Gareth Bale were pictured training with the group, but neither of them are ready to make their return.
Real Sociedad wouldn’t have imagined having to face the league leaders at home without so much of their first XI. Veterans Nacho Monreal and David Silva both remain injured for tonight’s clash, so does midfield pivot Mikel Merino. Alguacil has the likes of Zubimendi and Oyarzabal to fill in the midfield spots, but things seem rather tight in defence.
📄 Squad list for Saturday’s match against Real Sociedad. VAMOS 💪
— Real Madrid News (@onlyrmcfnews) December 3, 2021
Carvajal — Militão — Alaba — Mendy
Valverde — Casemiro — Kroos
Asensio — Benzema — Vini Jr.
Gorosabel — Zubeldia — Le Normand — Rico
Januzaj — Guevara — Zubimendi — Barrenetxea
Isak — Oyarzabal
Player to Watch:
Real Madrid: David Alaba. Real Madrid have been rather impressive playing out from the back. It goes to show just how much work goes in on the training ground, and just how technically able these players are. Alaba leads the line, reads danger and releases pressure as casually as any defender in the league. It will be his ability to anticipate Oyarzabal/Januzaj’s movements around the box that will be crucial today.
Real Sociedad: Alexander Isak. The Swede hasn’t enjoyed his best goalscoring run but remains a threat. His pace on the break for one, is difficult to handle even for players as quick or dominant as Ferland Mendy and Éder Militão. The thought of Isak running directly at our central defenders with Oyarzabal and Januzaj either side of him is frightening to say the least. Like Bilbao’s forwards however, they aren’t the most clinical of opposition.
Real Sociedad 0-2 Real Madrid.
Soceidad are worthy opposition with notable quality on and off the ball. This Madrid side however possesses the remarkable ability to intimidate opposition whilst on the offense. If that’s what Sociedad let them do, keeping the Basque’s out for 90 odd minutes shouldn’t be a difficult task either.