Real Sociedad believe they are on the verge of finishing in the top four of La Liga (LL) for the first time since 2012/13 after defeating local rivals Osasuna 2-0 on Friday. Forward Takefusa Kubo said they “have the right to dream.” We intend to compete in the Champions League. The three teams above them, beginning with Real Madrid, will be their opponents during their difficult home stretch in May.
A string of three consecutive home LL victories after scoring exactly two goals, including a recent victory over one of this season’s Copa del Rey (CDR) finalists, should give them plenty of confidence heading into this crucial match. On the other hand, Sociedad haven’t won a head to head match at home since May 2019 (D1, L2), and manager Imanol Alguacil has never shook Carlo Ancelotti’s hand as the winner (D1, L1).
Karim Benzema’s hat trick against Almeria (W 4-2) elevated him to the fourth highest scorer in LL history, and anything close to that could cause Alguacil’s team to struggle once more. With the forthcoming CDR final and Champions League semifinal in mind, the hosts will be hoping that Ancelotti rests the Frenchman. However, Ancelotti’s options seem limited with Vincius Jnior suspended after receiving his sixth yellow card of the year for dissent.
They also can’t afford to let their guard down in an LL situation as they attempt to maintain their lead over city rivals Atlético in the battle for second place behind champions elect Barcelona after having won only one of their last four league away games (D1, L2). Los Blancos should at least keep Sociedad’s defense active regardless of the outcome, as they have averaged 1.4 goals per game over their past five LL road games (W2, D1, L2).
Kubo, who was once on Madrid’s roster, has scored in seven Liga Libre games for Sociedad this season, all of which have ended in victories. In contrast, Madrid has won their previous seven games in which Rodrygo has scored, including the most recent one against Almeria.
Diego Rico, Sadiq Umar, and Martin Merquelanz won’t be available for Real Sociedad’s match against the Spanish and European champions on Tuesday.
Mikel Oyarzabal, Alexander Sorloth, and Brais Mendez are all anticipated to make their returns from the starting lineup against Osasuna, although head coach Alguacil is expected to make more changes.
Following his outstanding performance off the bench the last time out, Kubo will also be a contender, and the attacker might now be given a starting position in the final third of the field.
At the same time, Real Madrid will once again be without David Alaba and Ferland Mendy due to injury. Croatian forward Luka Modric will also miss the Copa del Rey final due to a hamstring problem.
Although Benzema and Thibaut Courtois both returned against Almeria and ought to be in the lineup once more for this game, Vinicius Junior and Eduardo Camavinga are suspended due to their previous match up’s bookings.
Nacho, Marco Asensio, Dani Carvajal, and Federico Valverde are anticipated to start for Ancelotti in the Copa del Rey final after being left out of the starting lineup against Almeria.
Although it seems more likely that Rodrygo will switch to the left on Tuesday night, Eden Hazard could play as a result of Vinicius’ absence.
Real Sociedad possible starting lineup
Remiro, Elustondo, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Munoz, Merino, Zubimendi, Mendez, Oyarzabal, Sorloth and Kubo.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup
Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Nacho, Valverde, Tchouameni, Ceballos, Asensio, Benzema and Rodrygo.
We predict: Real Sociedad 1-1 Real Madrid
Real Sociedad, who are aiming for a top four finish, may view this as a bigger encounter. However, we can see the points being shared, which would not be the worst outcome for either side and Real Madrid will not want to enter the Copa del Rey final off of a poor result.