Real Madrid travel to San Sebastian as they look to get their season off on a positive note. Last few years has seen the Madrid side squander early advantage to their rivals Barcelona, dropping points in matches they were expected to win. They will look to avoid any sort of slip-ups this time around. Expectedly, Barcelona have taken an early lead, dismantling Real Betis yesterday by thumping in 6 goals past the hapless side. Real Sociedad will be looking to get off to a solid start and after a tumultuous last campaign will be wary of avoiding similar mistakes as last season. But they will nonetheless put up a difficult challenge for Real Madrid. Last year a dreadful start put David Moyes out of a job, only for Sacristán to bookend a solid fall and winter campaign with a poor spring. They were 11th in goal difference, and the seventh-best home team in La Liga. By any means of valuation, Real Sociedad were mid-table last year.
Real Sociedad will be missing midfielder Zurutuza David in this big clash. The 30 years old will be out of this game due to an ankle injury. Joining David on the injured list is 20 years old Serbian center back “Babic Srdjan”, who is out with a knee injury.
Madrid will be missing a host of 1st team players with Modric ineligible due to a roll-over suspension and will be joined by Pepe, Benzema, Keylor Navas and most importantly Cristiano Ronaldo in the list of absentees.
REAL SOCIEDAD (4-2-3-1)
Rulli; Yuri, Martínez, Elustondo, Zaldúa; Bergara, Illarramendi; Zurutuza, Oyarzbal, Vela; Juanmi
REAL MADRID (4-3-3)
Casilla; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, James; Bale, Morata, Asensio
CARLOS VELA- The forward appeared 35 times for Sociedad last term and will look to get off to a good start this time around. He scored 5 goals and created 50 chances for his teammates in the league but his coach will be expecting more from him, especially in the goals department. Sociedad will be prepared to sit in their own half for most of the game and will look towards their strikers to take the limited number of opportunities which might fall to them.
GARETH BALE- With the BC of the BBC out, the onus will be on Bale to provide the attacking spark for the team. He will be the senior most in front line and will look to make a statement by adding to his numerous match winning displays. A win without Cr7 will be a boost for the team, which will do their confidence a world of good and Bale has to be on target to accomplish that.
Real Sociedad are known as giant-fellers in their own home having defeated Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in the last couple of seasons and will have the belief to sneak points out of this game as well, especially in the absence of 5 starters in the opposition team. But Real Madrid will certainly have other ideas and Zizou will be determined to get off to a winning start in his first full campaign. While the match is expected to be close, Real Madrid’s quality might see them through in the end.
T40 PREDICTION: 2-1 REAL MADRID WIN
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