Real Sociedad vs Villarreal predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as two European hopefuls clash.
|Sunday 9th October 2022
|18:30 (local time)
Real Sociedad vs Villarreal Preview
This is one of the standout fixtures this weekend in LaLiga between two sides that are sure to be pushing for European qualification this season. Both were involved in continental action on Thursday night and both had relatively comfortable evenings to maintain their 100% starts in Europe.
In LaLiga, it has been a little trickier for both but Real Sociedad did put in an impressive attacking display last weekend, winning a 5-3 thriller at Girona. That would have pleased Imanol immensely given the struggles La Real have had when it comes to converting chances over the past year or so, not aided by some long-term injuries to key attacking players.
That may turn out to be something of a freak result but it does feel like the likes of Take Kubo, Brais Mendez and Alexander Sorloth have really stepped up in the absence of Umar Sadiq and Mikel Oyarzabal, not to mention August departure Alexander Isak. The Swede’s absence hasn’t really been felt so far and it is four straight wins for the Basque side in all competitions after Thursday’s 2-0 win away to Sheriff.
Villarreal meanwhile were on home soil in the now familiar surroundings of Levante’s Estadi Ciutat de Valencia. They again proved a class above their Conference League opponents with a dominant 5-0 victory over Austria Vienna on Thursday with Jose Luis Morales coming off the bench to score a remarkable 12 minute hat-trick. The competition is proving a nice opportunity for Unai Emery to give squad players minutes and they certainly look on course to win the group and reach the last 16.
Their recent league form has been much less impressive though and early season talk of Villarreal potentially even challenging at the very top seems highly unlikely now. Again it has been a story of dropped points in games they really should be winning and Emery was widely criticised for leaving it so late to make changes in the 0-0 draw at Cadiz last time out. That result means it’s now just 1 win in 5 league games for the Yellow Submarine.
Team News & Possible Lineups
|Oyarzabal, Merquelanz, Barrenetxea, Sadiq, Zubeldia
|Le Normand, Cho, Gorosabel
Possible XI: Remiro – Munoz, Pacheco, Elustondo, Gorosabel – Zubimendi – Merino, Silva, Mendez – Sorloth, Kubo (4-1-3-2)
Coach: Imanol Alguacil
|Gerard Moreno, Foyth
Possible XI: Rulli – Pedraza, Torres, Albiol, Femenia – Lo Celso, Capoue, Parejo, Pino – Morales, Danjuma (4-4-2)
Coach: Unai Emery
Score Prediction: Real Sociedad 1-1 Villarreal
These two sides have been relatively evenly matched for a number of years now and it feels like they’ll be battling it out in the same part of the league again. Villarreal do go through phases when they just draw too many games and it would be no surprise if this match also ended level with Real Sociedad still struggling with a number of injuries which makes rotation tricky following their long European trip.
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