Real Sociedad vs Rijeka predictions and match preview for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League group stage clash. Read on for analysis as La Real face a game they will be strongly expected to win.
- DATE: Thursday 3rd December 2020
- KICK-OFF: 21:00 (Local time)
- VENUE: Anoeta
- COMPETITION: UEFA Europa League
Real Sociedad vs Rijeka Preview
LaLiga leaders Real Sociedad are back in Europa League action on Thursday night hosting Croatian outfit HNK Rijeka at the Reale Arena in what is a must-win encounter for Imanol Alguacil’s side.
La Real’s goalless draw in Alkmaar last week resulted in Napoli taking a two-point lead in Group F. Real Sociedad and AZ have both picked up seven points so far but the Basque team are placed higher among the two due to their 1-0 win in San Sebastián in early November.
As such, La Real can go through to the last 32 if they beat Rijeka and AZ lose to Napoli on the night. That would surely be a big relief for Imanol as he would prefer to wrap up qualification before the last match against the Italians.
The visitors to the north coast of Spain here are bottom-placed Rijeka whose fourth attempt at reaching the knockout stages were dashed by Napoli after the Italians ran out 2-0 winners in an emotional contest in Naples last week. With pride the only motivation for the Croatians on Thursday, the pressure is on Real Sociedad to collect all three points in this match where they go in as heavy favourites.
On Sunday, the Txuri-Urdinak were involved in a fighting 1-1 draw at home to Villarreal as skipper Mikel Oyarzabal scored from the spot to take his season’s tally to seven goals. The outcome ended the home side’s six-match winning run in LaLiga but they continue to lead the charts having played two matches more than in-form Atlético.
That raises the question, can Imanol’s men continue to deliver in a consistent manner both, domestically and continentally and where do their priorities lie? There is no relief from the busy run of games even in the holiday season this time and they also have Supercopa de España commitments to deal with next month.
First things first, the job on the hand for the Basques is to beat Rijeka as anything less would be just unacceptable. The good news for Real Sociedad is that their Balkan opponents have only won one of their last seven matches in all competitions and with a high-octane derby with Hajduk Split awaiting them on Sunday, coach Simon Rožman might opt to rest some key players in this dead-rubber of a game for the Croats.
This is La Real’s first ever home fixture against a Croatian club. Rijeka are visiting Spain for the sixth time but have, however, failed to score on each of their five previous visits, most recently losing 1-0 at Sevilla six years ago.
Real Sociedad vs Rijeka Predictions
Score Prediction: Real Sociedad 3-0 Rijeka
This match only has a home win written all over it and anything other than that will be a massive shock. Real Sociedad have been fairly strong at the Reale Arena all season. Rijeka are faring poorly not only in Europe but also in their league. With nothing at stake for the visitors, this match could just turn into a question of how many goals can La Real score.
Real Sociedad vs Rijeka Betting Tips (18+)
You can view our tips for this match and all the others in Europe involving Spanish sides by signing up to follow LaLiga Expert for free on Tipstrr. You can view our profit/loss stats and success ratios there.
Please note, we don’t guarantee any long-term gains if you’re backing our tips. If you do choose to bet, only stake what you can afford to lose. See BeGambleAware for more on responsible gambling.