Real Sociedad vs Athletic Club match preview and predictions for Wednesday’s LaLiga match. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the big two in the Basque Country clash just days after their long-awaited Copa del Rey Final.
|Wednesday 7th April 2021
|21:00 (local time)
Real Sociedad vs Athletic Club Preview
Four days on from the historic all-Basque Copa del Rey Final between the clubs, Real Sociedad and Athletic Club meet again, this time in Donostia. It’ll be a very happy homecoming for La Real and in truth this isn’t really the trip Athletic would want to be making right now but the respectful nature of this rivalry means there won’t be a huge amount of animosity.
Despite being played at what was often a frenetic pace, it was a cagey Final with very few chances at either end. Real Sociedad did though start to take control to some extent after the interval and ultimately emerged victorious with Mikel Oyarzabal converting from the penalty spot after former Real Sociedad defender Iñigo Martínez committed a foul inside the box in what would prove the game’s decisive moment.
It should though be noted that La Real are not in Europe as a result of winning what was the 2020 Copa del Rey. They still need to focus on finishing well in LaLiga to ensure they are in the Europa League or Conference League again next season. They’ve lost both of their last two league matches to drop to 7th place and could do with using their cup triumph, their first trophy in 34 years, as a springboard for the rest of their season.
As for Athletic, clearly Saturday’s defeat will have hurt but they can’t afford to spend long licking their wounds. They have another cup final to play ten days after this match and while they’ll be even clearer underdogs against Barcelona, they do have an immediate chance to get their hands on silverware again.
In LaLiga, Athletic are drifting somewhat towards a safe mid-table finish. They are 10 points behind La Real and their hopes of playing in the Europa League in 2021/22 do look to lie solely on their ability to defeat Barcelona in Seville. A record of just two away wins in LaLiga is also a concern but they have been slightly more convincing travellers since Marcelino took charge.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 5 Real Sociedad Wins, 1 Athletic Win.
- Real Sociedad have won the last 3 meetings.
- They’ve recorded 1-0 victories in the two clashes so far this term, including the historic Copa del Rey Final on Saturday.
- Athletic haven’t avoided defeat in Donostia since a 2-0 win in March 2017.
La Real are missing the injured Asier Illarramendi again and could rotate slightly from the Final with the likes of Adnan Januzaj potentially coming in.
Oier Zarraga and Peru Nolaskoain are missing due to injury for the visitors.
Predicted Real Sociedad Starting Lineup:
Remiro – Monreal, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Gorosabel – Silva, Guridi, Merino – Oyarzabal, Isak, Januzaj (4-3-3)
Predicted Athletic Club Starting Lineup:
Simon – Yuri, Martinez, Yeray, De Marcos – Muniain, Vesga, Lopez, Berenguer – R. Garcia, Williams (4-4-2)
Real Sociedad vs Athletic Club Predictions
LaLiga Expert Predicts: Real Sociedad 2-1 Athletic Club (follow us on Tipstrr to view our betting tips)
Real Sociedad stumbled upon a formula which really did negate Athletic’s attacking threat in the Copa del Rey Final. With the stakes considerably lower, this may be a more open affair but Real Sociedad really will be on cloud nine after Saturday’s win and they may just be the team that can produce a bit more quality in the final third to ensure they claim victory here too.