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Real Sociedad logo
La Liga | Gameweek 3
Aug 28, 2021 at 6.30pm UK
Estadio Anoeta
Levante logo

Real Sociedad
1 - 0

FT(HT: 1-0)

Cantero (18')

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

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

Having both had mixed starts to the new campaign, Real Sociedad and Levante will do battle on Saturday in the third round of La Liga fixtures.

The hosts earned their first win of the season last time out after an opening defeat, while their visitors have drawn both games, and a victory for either would signify an impressive points tally from the opening three matches.

Match preview

Real Sociedad head coach Imanol Alguacil pictured in December 2020© Reuters

A strong second half of last season saw Real Sociedad achieve a commendable fifth-placed finish in La Liga, while also defeating Athletic Bilbao to win the delayed 2019-20 Copa del Rey final, meaning they head into the new season with plenty of optimism having secured a piece of silverware and European football for the new term.

They were handed a tough start though, travelling to take on Barcelona, and Imanol Alguacil's men were unable to cause an upset.

An early Gerard Pique goal and a Martin Braithwaite brace appeared to put the game out of sight, but late finishes from Julen Lobete and Mikel Oyarzabal gave the visitors a chance before their hopes were dashed as Sergi Roberto got on the scoresheet in injury time to condemn Los Txuri-Urdin to a 4-2 defeat.

Alguacil's men quickly bounced back though, as Oyarzabal converted a 68th-minute penalty to fire them to a 1-0 home win over Rayo Vallecano last time out.

Having impressed against Barcelona before opening their account for the season, Alguacil's men will come into Saturday's game with a degree of confidence, although they face another tough test as Levante arrive in search of their first win of the campaign.

Levante head coach Paco Lopez pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Levante also impressed for large portions of last season, maintaining a spot in the top half for the majority before a poor end to the campaign eventually saw them fall to a somewhat underwhelming 14th-placed finish.

Hoping for a stronger showing this time around, Paco Lopez's men started with a trip to Cadiz, and they looked set to leave with a 1-0 win thanks to Jose Luis Morales's goal, only for Alfonso Espino to find the net in the 97th minute, seeing the hosts snatch a point as a result.

They then faced the tough task of a clash with title-chasing Real Madrid, and while Gareth Bale gave Los Blancos an early lead, Roger Marti and Jose Campana found the net to put Levante ahead on the hour mark, before Vinicius Junior levelled the game at 2-2.

Lopez's men again took the lead through Rober Pier with 10 minutes to go, but Vinicius netted his second of the game in the 85th minute to see the sides share the points after a dramatic affair.

While they will have been disappointed not to have held on for an impressive victory, Levante will still take positives from a draw with last season's second-placed side, and they will now go in search of a first league win of the season.

Real Sociedad La Liga form:
  • L
  • W

Levante La Liga form:
  • D
  • D

Team News

Levante's Jose Luis Morales celebrates scoring their first goal against Barcelona in La Liga on May 11, 2021© Reuters

Real Sociedad come in with several injury concerns, as defenders Nacho Monreal and Diego Rico and goalkeeper Mat Ryan are all out of action.

Midfielders Asier Illarramendi and Carlos Fernandez will also miss out, meaning Martin Zubimendi should again be the anchor behind the dangerous pairing of David Silva and Mikel Merino.

The line will be led by Alexander Isak, who caught eyes for Sweden at Euro 2020 after hitting 17 La Liga goals for Los Txuri-Urdin last season, and he will be supported by the threat of Mikel Oyarzabal, who has already netted two league goals this campaign.

Levante also have plenty of issues to deal with, as Sergio Postigo, Alex Blesa, Dani Gomez and Roberto Soldado are all out through injury.

Lopez's problems have been made worse by the suspension of first-choice goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez, who was shown a red card in the dying minutes of the draw with Real Madrid as he raced out of his box to make a tackle.

In his absence, Dani Cardenas will start between the sticks, while Ruben Vezo can return to the back four after briefly deputising in goal when Levante were unable to make any further substitutions following Fernandez's sending off.

Jose Luis Morales and Roger Marti form a threatening attacking line, while Jose Campana and Jorge de Frutos will operate on the flanks.

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Gorosabel, Elustondo, Normand, Munoz; Zubimendi; Oyarzabal, Merino, Silva, Barrentxea; Isak

Levante possible starting lineup:
Cardenas; Miramon, Vezo, Pier, Clerc; De Frutos, Melero, Radoja, Campana; Morales, Marti

SM words green background

We say: Real Sociedad 2-1 Levante

While this could certainly go either way, we think La Real boast the slightly stronger of the two squads, and will look to come out of what is bound to be an end-to-end affair with three points.

Although they looked concerning at the back against Barcelona, Alguacil's men quickly improved last time out, and we give them the slight edge on Saturday as both sides look for an important win to cap off the opening stretch of the season in style.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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Data Analysis

Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats up until an hour before kickoff, suggested the most likely outcome of this match was a Real Sociedad win with a probability of 55%. A draw had a probability of 24.3% and a win for Levante had a probability of 20.74%.

The most likely scoreline for a Real Sociedad win was 1-0 with a probability of 12.46%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome were 2-0 (10.42%) and 2-1 (9.63%). The likeliest drawn scoreline was 1-1 (11.51%), while for a Levante win it was 0-1 (6.88%). The actual scoreline of 1-0 was predicted with a 12.5% likelihood. Our data analysis correctly predicted a 1-0 win for Real Sociedad in this match.

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Game History

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Barcelona's Martin Braithwaite celebrates scoring their third goal against Real Sociedad in La Liga on August 15, 2021
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Group A

Q Germany Germany22006
2 Switzerland Switzerland21104
3 Scotland flag Scotland20111
4 Hungary Hungary20020

Group B

Q Spain Spain22006
2 Italy Italy21013
3 Albania national flag Albania20111
4 Croatia Croatia20111

Group C

1 England flag England21104
2 Denmark Denmark20202
3 Slovenia Slovenia20202
4 Serbia Serbia20111

Group D

1 Netherlands Netherlands21104
2 France France21104
3 Austria Austria21013
4 Poland Poland20020

Group E

1 Romania Romania21013
2 Belgium Belgium21013
3 Slovakia Slovakia21013
4 Ukraine Ukraine21013

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal22006
2 Turkey Turkey21013
3 Czech Republic Czech Republic20111
4 Georgia Georgia20111

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