Matchday 2 in La Liga kicks off this weekend with a tasty fixture between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid at Anoeta. Real Sociedad kicked off their season last weekend with a 1-1 draw versus Real Valladolid. The Royal were ravaged by COVID-19 and several players missed out on the game.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, did not play on opening day in La Liga. Los Blancos were given an additional week to prepare for the campaign after playing in the Champions League in August. Zinedine Zidane’s team are now ready to kick off the season and defend their La Liga title.
Real Sociedad and Real Madrid were separated by 21 points in the La Liga table last season. The Royal were not great after the La Liga restart and struggle to hang onto a European place. They did qualify for the Europa League in the end. Real Sociedad finished the season 14 points off of fourth place and the final Champions League qualification place. They flirted with the top four but missed out on the Champions League due to late season form.
Real Madrid are still shaping their squad. The club may have a difficult time hanging onto the title this season in what could be an open La Liga championship race.
Real Sociedad and Real Madrid played three times in 2019-20. Two of the matches came in La Liga and one in the Copa del Rey. Los Blancos won the teams’ matches in La Liga while Real Sociedad shocked their opponents in the cup.
When the teams met at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid won 3-1. Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose opened the scoring in the second minute. Los Blancos then scored three straight goals from Karim Benzema, Federico Valverde, and Luka Modric. Their league game at Anoeta finished in a 2-1 Real Madrid win. Sergio Ramos scored from the spot before Benzema added a goal from open play. Mikel Merino pulled a goal back but the game wasn’t as close as the scoreline suggested.
Real Sociedad do have a good recent record against Real Madrid. The Royal have posted a 3W-0D-3L record against Los Blancos over the course of their last six games in all competitions. Real Sociedad’s last win at Anoeta against Real Madrid came in May 2019. The Royal won 3-1.
The last four games between the La Liga rivals finished with over 2.5 goals scored and both teams finding the back of the net.
Real Sociedad manager Imanol Alguacil had a limited squad on matchday 1 as several players tested positive for COVID-19. One of those players was David Silva, who signed from Manchester City on a free transfer in the offseason. Silva returned to training this week. Reports out of Spain indicate that Silva is in contention for a place in Aguacil’s team on Sunday.
Striker Willian Jose was left out of the squad versus Real Valladolid as well due to a positive COVID-19 test. The striker could be back in the team this weekend. However, reports from London claim Jose Mourinho and Tottenham Hotspur have approached Real Sociedad about signing Jose. Mikel Oyarzabal recovered from his bout of COVID-19. He was in the squad last weekend but didn’t start. Oyarzabal could be fit to start this weekend.
According to reports out of Spain, Real Madrid signed Lautaro Martinez this week from Inter Milan. If the deal is true, Los Blancos sent Luka Jovic in the opposite direction. Real Madrid are linked with Kylian Mbappe once more after the French World Cup winner claimed he will leave Paris next summer.
Former on loan Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Odergaard has received a lot a praise from manager Zidane. He could start against his former side this weekend.
Both teams to score - BET NOW
The last four games between the two teams finished with both teams finding the back of the net. That includes all three matches between the clubs in 2019-20. Real Sociedad’s opening day game versus Real Valladolid finished with both teams finding the back of the net. Real Madrid’s defence was suspect in the Champions League against Manchester City in August. Will that form carry over into La Liga?
Over 2.5 goals scored - BET NOW
The last four straight matches between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid finished with over 2.5 goals scored. These teams have been able to find the back of the net against one another. Sixteen of the last 18 matches between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid finished with over 2.5 goals tallied. Expect these teams to score goals this weekend.
Karim Benzema to score anytime - BET NOW
Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema scored 21 La Liga goals in 37 appearances for the club in 2019-20. He averaged a goal every 151.2 minutes of La Liga place. Benzema was nearly on target with his total goals and expected goals numbers. Benzema had a figure of 21.25 expected goals. He averaged 3.51 shots per 90 minutes in La Liga and had an expected goals average per 90 minutes of 0.60.
Benzema has scored 21 goals in each of his last two seasons at the Bernabeu. Can he do it again? Real Madrid were strong enough to win the La Liga title in 2019-20. They were not good enough in the cup matches – Copa del Rey and Champions League. Real Sociedad won in the Copa del Rey last season, but lost twice in the league. Can they defeat Real Madrid at home on Sunday?
Real Madrid should win once more at Anoeta. They claimed a 2-1 win in the Basque Country last season with all three goals coming in the second period. Los Blancos should claim a win away this weekend to get their campaign up and running on the domestic front.
Anoeta will host Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid on Sunday in La Liga.
Real Sociedad vs Real Madrid kicks-off at 20:00 on Sunday 20 September.