Real Sociedad have started the new La Liga season in brilliant form. They are unbeaten in three games tallying five points from nine possible. The Royal have a big test on Tuesday night as Valencia head to Anoeta for a top-five showdown.
While Real Sociedad have taken five points from nine possible, Valencia have snatched four from nine possible. After a derby win against Levante, 4-2, Valencia lost to away to Celta Vigo, 2-1. Last weekend, Valencia claimed 1-1 draw at Mestalla against newly-promoted Huesca.
Real Sociedad grabbed a 1-1 draw against Real Valladolid and a nil-nil result versus Real Madrid. Last weekend, the Royal finally got a win as they defeated Elche 3-0. Real Sociedad are third in La Liga after three games. The Basque club claimed four points from six possible against Valencia in 2019-20. After a 1-1 draw at the Mestalla, they posted a 3-0 win at Anoeta.
Valencia’s defence has been guilty of conceding goals this season after just three matches. They have conceded the league’s second most goals after three fixtures (five). Real Sociedad’s defence have allowed just one goal and have kept back to back clean sheets. Can Valencia crack Real Sociedad’s defence this weekend and get a result at Anoeta?
Real Sociedad went to the Mestalla last season and claimed a 1-1 draw. Valencia’s Kevin Gameiro opened the scoring with a strike in the 58th minute. Real Sociedad were headed toward a loss until winning a penalty. Mikel Oyarzabel slotted home from the spot to give Real Sociedad a share of the spoils.
In the reverse fixture at Anoeta, Real Sociedad thrashed Valencia 3-0. The Royal were up 2-0 by halftime thanks to goals from Mikel Merino and Nacho Monreal. Adnan Januzaj added a third after the halftime break to send Real Sociedad on their way to a win to nil.
Valencia are unbeaten in six of their last 11 games against Real Sociedad. Los Che posted a 4W-2D-5L record against Real Sociedad over the course of their last six meetings in La Liga. Real Sociedad’s win at Anoeta in 2019-20 ended a five-match unbeaten run by Valencia.
Valencia have a big week of fixtures that will see them play Real Betis at the weekend. Javi Gracia’s team have been hot and cold in the early stages of the campaign. Can Gracia get his team to play consistent football when they visit Anoeta? It is easier said than done for the manager.
Real Sociedad still have a host of injury concerns. A number of players are expected to miss out on the game against Valencia through their respective injuries. Asier Illarramendi, Luca Sangalli, Martin Merquelanz, Joseba Zaldua and Igor Zubeldia are all expected to miss out through injury.
Imanol Alguacil is likely to stick with the same team he started against Elche. He could start both Januzaj and Lopze after the duo came off the bench last weekend to score goals. Alguacil could restore Nacho Monreal to the left-back position.
Meanwhile, Alexander Isak should remain as the team’s starting striker with Willian Jose on the bench. Jose has been linked with moves away from Real Sociedad. He also overcame a positive COVID-19 test at the beginning of the campaign.
Valencia’ Gabriel Paulista and Eliaquim Mangala remain on the sidelines through injury, meaning that Hugo Guillamon should play in defence. The lack of two top-class defenders will limit Gracia’s options greatly.
Gracia may be influenced to pair Gameiro and Maxi Gomez together in Valencia’s attack. Uros Racic received praise for his performance against Huesca and has become a target of Manchester United this week. He could start along with midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia in the heart of midfield.
Both teams to score: YES @49/50 - BET NOW
Five of the last eight games between Real Sociedad and Valencia in La Liga finished with both teams finding the back of the net. These sides have been able to score goals against each other, although their most recent matches finished with clean sheets. Valencia leak goals in defence and with two starting defenders sidelined, expected their issues to continue. They should get on the scoresheet. They have scored six times over the course of three games this term.
Over 2.5 goals scored @1/1 - BET NOW
Five of the last eight games between the two clubs ended with over 2.5 goals scored. Last season’s game at Anoeta ended 3-0 in favour of Real Sociedad. While this season’s game in the Basque Country should not finish in a win to nil, it should see over 2.5 goals tallied. Valencia saw two of their opening three games finish with over 2.5 goals tallied. Their defence is a weakness.
Kevin Gameiro to score anytime @7/2 - BET NOW
Kevin Gameiro has played a mere 24 minutes for Valencia over the course of three matchdays. The Frenchman was linked with a move away from the Mestalla. However, he could remain at the club and this weekend, Gracia could pair Gameiro with Maxi Gomez.
The French striker averages 3.75 shots per 90 minutes and 0.27 expected goals per 90 minutes this season. Gameiro scored six La Liga goals from Valencia in 2019-20. It was 0.67 more than his expected goals total of 5.33. Five of his six goals last term came inside the 18-yard box.
Can Valencia get a win away to Real Sociedad or will the home team claim three more points? Gracia hasn’t ironed out the issues with the team. Valencia saw plenty of player turn over in the offseason. Long-time captain Dani Parejo was sold to Villarreal and influential forward Rodrigo Moreno was sold to Leeds United.
Real Sociedad’s injury issues could be their downfall. Yet, they managed a win at the weekend versus Elche. Valencia will be a step up in competition. A Real Sociedad win or score draw is likely to occur on Tuesday night at Anoeta.