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Real Sociedad logo
La Liga | Gameweek 33
Apr 26, 2024 at 8pm UK
Reale Arena
Real Madrid logo

Real Sociedad
0 - 1
Real Madrid

Le Normand (40'), Zubeldia (70'), Merino (87')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Guler (29')
Guler (15'), Garcia (56'), Tchouameni (83'), Nacho (88')

Preview: Real Sociedad vs. Real Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's La Liga clash between Real Sociedad and Real Madrid, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Real Madrid will be aiming to move 14 points clear at the top of the La Liga table when they continue their domestic campaign away to Real Sociedad on Friday night.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are currently in a commanding position at the summit, sitting 11 points clear of second-placed Barcelona with six games left, while Real Sociedad are sixth, three points ahead of seventh-placed Real Betis in the battle to secure Europa League football for the 2024-25 campaign.

Match preview

Real Sociedad players celebrate after the match on December 12, 2023© Reuters

Real Sociedad finished fourth in La Liga last season, but they are highly unlikely to play in the Champions League again next term, as they are currently sixth in the table, 10 points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid.

The Basque outfit are instead locked in a battle for a Europa League spot, sitting sixth, three points clear of seventh-placed Real Betis. As it stands, Imanol Alguacil's side will qualify for the group stage of the 2024-25 Europa League, but there are still 18 points to play for this term.

Real Sociedad will bring a five-game unbeaten run into this match, including three wins in La Liga, but they have been held to draws by Almeria and Getafe in their last two games.

Alguacil's side have actually only won six of their 15 home league matches this term, dropping points in the other nine, including three defeats, and they will be welcoming a Real Madrid side with the best away record in Spain's top flight during the 2023-24 campaign.

Real Sociedad suffered a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the reverse match at Bernabeu this season, but they recorded a 2-0 victory over the capital side when the two teams locked horns in the corresponding fixture last term, which should hand them confidence ahead of this contest.

Real Madrid's Rodrygo celebrates scoring with Vinicius Junior and teammates against Manchester City on April 17, 2024© Reuters

Real Madrid have been comfortably the best team in La Liga this season, boasting a record of 25 wins, six draws and one defeat from 32 matches, which has left them at the top of the division on 81 points.

Ancelotti's side recorded a 3-2 victory over Barcelona in El Clasico last weekend, with Jude Bellingham coming up with the winner in second-half stoppage time, and the result moved Los Blancos 11 points ahead of second-placed Barcelona with six matches left.

Unless something extraordinary happens, Real Madrid will win the title this season, and it will be fully deserved, having scored the most goals (70) and conceded the fewest (22) during an excellent campaign.

The capital giants are bidding to secure two more trophies this term, as they are also in the semi-finals of the Champions League, having dumped the holders Manchester City out in the quarter-finals.

Next week, Real Madrid will head to Bayern Munich for the first leg of their semi-final, and due to their strong position in the table, Ancelotti will be able to rest some important players.

Los Blancos will bring a five-game winning run in La Liga into this match, including a 1-0 success over Mallorca in their last away fixture, but as mentioned, they suffered a two-goal defeat to Real Sociedad in the corresponding fixture during the 2022-23 campaign.

Real Sociedad La Liga form:

Real Sociedad form (all competitions):

Real Madrid La Liga form:

Real Madrid form (all competitions):

Team News

Real Madrid's Ferland Mendy in action with Manchester City's Phil Foden on April 9, 2024© Reuters

Real Sociedad will definitely be without the services of two players on Friday, with Hamari Traore and Brais Mendez on the sidelines due to injury problems.

Martin Merquelanz, Aihen Munoz and Carlos Fernandez are also doubts, but the Basque outfit's squad will be boosted by the returns of Martin Zubimendi and Igor Zubeldia following suspensions.

Alvaro Odriozola is expected to take Traore's spot, with the right-back picking up an injury against Getafe, while Takefusa Kubo could also be introduced in the final third of the field, with Sheraldo Becker potentially dropping down to the bench for the clash against the division leaders.

As for Real Madrid, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois remain on the sidelines with long-term knee injuries, although the latter has recently returned to training and could be back against Cadiz early next month.

Ferland Mendy will also be absent due to a slight muscular complaint, but the Frenchman is expected to be fit for next week's Champions League semi-final first leg with Bayern alongside Jude Bellingham, who misses out on Friday evening due to an illness.

Ancelotti is set to rest a number of important players for this match, with Nacho, Fran Garcia, Luka Modric, Brahim Diaz and Joselu all in line for starts.

Eder Militao could also be in the XI ahead of a potential start against Bayern next week, but the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Toni Kroos, Federico Valverde and Rodrygo could be rested from the first whistle on Friday night.

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Odriozola, Le Normand, Zubeldia, Galan; Benat, Zubimendi, Merino; Kubo, Oyarzabal, Barrenetxea

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Lunin; Carvajal, Militao, Nacho, F Garcia; Modric, Tchouameni, Camavinga; Diaz; Vinicius, Joselu

SM words green background

We say: Real Sociedad 1-1 Real Madrid

Real Madrid are not expected to be at full-strength for this match, and Real Sociedad away is always a tough match regardless of their form and position in the table. We can see the points being shared in this match, which would not be the end of the world for Real Madrid, who will want to get through the contest unscathed ahead of their huge fixture against Bayern.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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