Real Sociedad vs Sturm Graz 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 target back-to-back wins over the Austrian side.
|Date||Thursday 4th November 2021|
|Kick-Off||18:45 (local time)|
|Competition||UEFA Europa League Group Stage|
Real Sociedad vs Sturm Graz Preview
Real Sociedad are back in Europa League action on Thursday night with what on paper should be the simplest of their group stage assignments. The Basque side need to beat Sturm Graz to put themselves in a strong position heading into their final two group games.
La Real managed to do just that a fortnight ago in Austria. They were much the better side in the game but had to work hard for their breakthrough with Alexander Isak’s 68th goal, the only score in a match which ended with the hosts going down to 10 men in the final stages. The result pushed Imanol’s side upto 2nd in the group but having drawn their opening two matches, there is still plenty of work to be done before they can look forward to a knockout stage tie.
Real Sociedad’s strong start to the season overall has continued since the game. Draws against Atletico and Athletic, either side of a 2-0 win in Vigo, have kept them on top of LaLiga and significantly they are now getting a number of key players back to fitness. It could have been even better had Alex Remiro managed to make what should have been a routine save from Iker Muniain’s free-kick in Stoppage Time of Sunday’s Basque derby which enabled Athletic to leave the Reale Arena with a point.
Imanol won’t have seen too much in Sturm Graz so far in this group that should worry him. The Austrian side are yet to pick up a point having lost 1-0 at Monaco on matchday 1 before a heavy 4-1 home defeat against PSV. They already look out of the running for qualification in this group and with the top three looking relatively evenly matched, it’s hard to see how they could even get 3rd place which would mean a transfer to the Conference League.
Even their domestic form since losing to Real Sociedad a fortnight ago has been woeful. They’ve lost all three matches since with 4-1 and 3-0 defeats against their two main rivals at the top of the Austrian Bundesliga while they were dumped out of the Austrian Cup at home by lowly Ried.
Head to Head
- Real Sociedad were 1-0 winners in Austria a fortnight ago in the reverse fixture.
- The clubs hadn’t previously met.
Carlos Fernandez remains Real Sociedad’s long-term injury absentee. Most of their other issues have cleared up but they are still missing key man Mikel Oyarzabal while this game may also come too soon for Nacho Monreal.
Jon Stankovic is banned for the visitors. Stefan Hierlander, Otar Kiteishvili and Sandro Ingolitsch are out injured.
Real Sociedad vs Sturm Graz Predictions
Score Prediction: Real Sociedad 3-0 Sturm Graz
Sturm Graz are in shocking form at the moment and haven’t seriously looked like competing in this tough group. Real Sociedad continue to impress and the LaLiga leaders should brush aside the Austrian team without much drama here.
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