Sturm Graz vs Real Sociedad predictions and match preview for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as La Real travel to Austria.
|Thursday 21st October 2021
|21:00 (local time)
|UEFA Europa League Group Stage
Sturm Graz vs Real Sociedad Preview
Real Sociedad travel to Austria on Thursday for an important game in the Europa League group stage. They are in a tough group once more and following back-to-back draws, they really need to take advantage of two matches against what on paper is the weakest team in the group.
Getting out of a Europa League group shouldn’t be beyond a Real Sociedad side that is currently top of LaLiga having only suffered one defeat in all competitions so far this season. That’s an extraordinary record given the extensive injury problems they’ve had but they continue to soldier on and sealed another hard-fought win at the weekend with youngster Julen Lobete scoring a 90th minute goal, the only one in their game against Mallorca.
They suffered a fresh blow when top scorer Mikel Oyarzabal suffered a torn hamstring in training last week but overall their injury problems should be starting to ease up which should serve up fresh options for Imanol. His team have so far recorded draws against PSV and Monaco in this competition and really could do with all the points here.
Sturm Graz do look like they are going to be the whipping boys in this group. They are yet to pick up a point having suffered a 1-0 defeat in Monaco on MD1 before a heavy 4-1 home defeat against PSV. The scoreline did perhaps flatter the Dutch outfit a bit but even this early it felt like a terminal blow to Sturm Graz’s chances of making any progress in the competition.
They are currently 2nd in the Austrian Bundesliga but a distant 2nd to RB Salzburg who they meet this coming weekend. This is still something of a renaissance period for Sturm Graz who were Champions League group stage regulars around the turn of the century. They’d failed to reach any European group stage in a decade before this season but they are building nicely under Christian Ilzer, although the quality of opposition in this group does still represent a really tough test for them.
Head to Head
- This will be the first ever meeting.
Real Sociedad’s injury problems have eased a bit but the loss of Mikel Oyarzabal to a hamstring injury is a significant blow. The likes of David Silva, Alexander Sorloth and Andoni Gorosabel could return to the side here.
Sturm Graz are currently missing Sandro Ingolitsch and Otar Kiteishvili to injury.
Predicted Sturm Graz Starting Lineup:
Siebenhand – Dante, Wüthrich, Affengruber, Gazibegovic – Prass, Stankovic, Hierländer, Ljubic – Yeboah, Jantscher (4-4-2)
Predicted Real Sociedad Starting Lineup:
Remiro – Munoz, Le Normand, Elustondo, Gorosabel – Zubimendi, Merino, Silva – Portu, Isak, Januzaj (4-3-3)
Sturm Graz vs Real Sociedad Predictions
Score Prediction: Sturm Graz 1-2 Real Sociedad
Even with one or two players out, Real Sociedad have the quality required to come to Austria and win this game. While many players have had a heavy workload already this season due to those injuries, they should be relatively fresh here following on from the international break and they may just claim a really important win here.